Evaluating foreland basin partitioning in the northern Andes using Cenozoic fill of the Floresta basin, Eastern Cordillera, Colombia

Joel E. Saylor, Brian K. Horton, Junsheng Nie, Jaime Corredor, Andrés Mora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This paper addresses foreland basin fragmentation through integrated detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology, sandstone petrography, facies analysis and palaeocurrent measurements from a Mesozoic-Cenozoic clastic succession preserved in the northern Andean retroarc fold-thrust belt. Situated along the axis of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, the Floresta basin first received sediment from the eastern craton (Guyana shield) in the Cretaceous-early Palaeocene and then from the western magmatic arc (Central Cordillera) starting in the mid-Palaeocene. The upper-crustal magmatic arc was replaced by a metamorphic basement source in the middle Eocene. This, in turn, was replaced by an upper-crustal fold-thrust belt source in the late Eocene which persisted until Oligocene truncation of the Cenozoic section by the eastward advancing thrust front. Sedimentary facies analysis indicates minimal changes in depositional environments from shallow marine to low-gradient fluvial and estuarine deposits. These same environments are recorded in coeval strata across the Eastern Cordillera. Throughout the Palaeogene, palaeocurrent and sediment provenance data point to a uniform western or southwestern sediment source. These data show that the Floresta basin existed as part of a laterally extensive, unbroken foreland basin connected with the proximal western (Magdalena Valley) basin from mid-Paleocene to late Eocene time when it was isolated by uplift of the western flank of the Eastern Cordillera. The Floresta basin was also connected with the distal eastern (Llanos) basin from the Cretaceous until its late Oligocene truncation by the advancing thrust front.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-402
Number of pages26
JournalBasin Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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