Miocene flooding events of western Amazonia

Carlos Jaramillo, Ingrid Romero, Carlos D'Apolito, German Bayona, Edward Duarte, Stephen Louwye, Jaime Escobar, Javier Luque, Jorge D. Carrillo-Briceño, Vladimir Zapata, Alejandro Mora, Stefan Schouten, Michael Zavada, Guy Harrington, John Ortiz, Frank P. Wesselingh

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There is a considerable controversy about whether western Amazonia was ever covered by marine waters during the Miocene [23 to 5 Ma (million years ago)]. We investigated the possible occurrence of Miocene marine incursions in the Llanos and Amazonas/Solimões basins, using sedimentological and palynological data fromtwo sediment cores taken in eastern Colombia and northwestern Brazil together with seismic information.We observed two distinctmarine intervals in the Llanos Basin, an early Miocene that lasted ~0.9My (million years) (18.1 to 17.2 Ma) and amiddleMiocene that lasted ~3.7 My (16.1 to 12.4Ma). These twomarine intervals are also seen in Amazonas/Solimões Basin (northwestern Amazonia) but were much shorter in duration, ~0.2 My (18.0 to 17.8 Ma) and ~0.4 My (14.1 to 13.7 Ma), respectively. Our results indicate that shallow marine waters covered the region at least twice during the Miocene, but the events were shortlived, rather than a continuous full-marine occupancy of Amazonian landscape over millions of years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1601693
JournalScience Advances
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes

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