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Sedimentitas marinas del Neógeno en la bahía de Tumaco, Nariño

 Volume 3 Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Different Levels of Exhumation across the Bucaramanga Fault in the Cepitá Area of the Southwestern Santander Massif, Colombia: Implications for the Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Andes in Northwestern South America

Sergio AMAYA–FERREIRA, Carlos Augusto ZULUAGA and Matthias BERNET

Citation is suggested as: 

Amaya–Ferreira, S., Zuluaga, C.A. & Bernet, M. 2019. Different levels of exhumation across the Bucaramanga Fault in the Cepitá area of the southwestern Santander Massif, Colombia: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the northern Andes in northwestern South America. In: Gómez, J. & Mateus–Zabala, D. (editors), The Geology of Colombia, Volume 3 Paleogene – Neogene. Servicio Geológico Colombiano, Publicaciones Geológicas Especiales 37, p. 689–727. Bogotá.


Apatite and zircon fission track data from crystalline rocks collected along an east–to–west elevational profile across the Bucaramanga strike–slip fault in the Cepitá area and thermal history modeling show the four–stage thermal history of the south–western Santander Massif of the northern Andes in Colombia. A 60 my phase of burial heating from the Late Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous was followed by three cooling phases beginning in approximately 65–60 Ma, which were related to regional tectonic events. The Late Cretaceous – early Paleocene accretion of an island arc and interactions of the Caribbean Plate with the north–western South America Plate first triggered the surface uplift and erosional exhumation of the Santander Massif. During the late Oligocene – early Miocene, the collision of the Panamá–Chocó Block with north–western South America caused an acceleration in the cooling and exhumation of the Santander Massif and differential surface uplift to the east and west of the Bucaramanga Fault in the Cepitá area. The present–day topography of the Santander Massif probably formed at this time. Locally recorded late Miocene cooling may be related to movement on the secondary fault pattern in the study area or minor magmatic activity.

Keywords:   exhumation, fission track analysis, Santander Massif, Bucaramanga Fault, thermal modelling.