Phyllite and marble dredged from the lower part of the continental slope between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula seem to support the contention that a pre-early Tertiary metamorphic belt extends from the western Greater Antilles into northern Central America. The minimum K-Ar ages derived from the samples suggest that the metamorphic event was pre-Late Cretaceous, and evaluation of the K-Ar data implies that this metamorphic event is not older than Late Jurassic. Greater antiquity, however, is inferred from structural and stratigraphic relations in British Honduras, where the latest regional metamorphic event was post-Early Permian and pre-Middle Jurassic. Rifting and extension related to plate motions along the British Honduras Quintana Roo margin through Mesozoic and earliest Cenozoic time presumably would preclude extensive regional metamorphism, permitting only limited development of schistose rocks there during that interval. The timing of metamorphic events in western Cuba is uncertain, but a pre-Middle Jurassic episode possibly is reflected in the phyllite and marble terranes of Isla de Pinos and Sierra de Trinidad. Local incipient metamorphism of Early and Middle Jurassic strata in the Sierra de los Organos may have resulted from severe tectonism that began in Late Cretaceous time and diminished in the Eocene.
Age and tectonic implications of some low-grade metamorphic rocks from the Yucatan Channel
J.G. Vedder, N. S. MacLeod, M. A. Lanphere, William P. Dillon