Early Miocene Marine Palynology of the Colombian Caribbean Margin: Biostratigraphic and Paleoceanographic Implications


Dinoflagellate cysts and acritarchs are excellent proxies for biostratigraphic and paleoceanographic studies in neritic sequences. However, Neogene marine palynological studies in tropical latitudes are scarce. Here, we analyzed the marine palynological contents (dinoflagellate cysts, acritarchs, foraminiferal test linings and prasinophytes) of 40 samples from a well drilled in northernmost Colombia, southern Caribbean Sea, spanning the late Chattian-late Burgidalian time interval (~24.1-17.3 Ma). We propose a biostratigraphic scheme that includes an upper Chattian-lower Aquitanian Minisphaeridium latirictum Interval Zone (~23.9-22.0 Ma), an upper Aquitanian Achomosphaera alcicornu Interval Zone (~22.0-20.3 Ma), and a Burdigalian Cribroperidinium tenuitabulatum Interval Zone (~20.3-17.5 Ma). Our results reveal several biostratigraphic events that are heterochronous compared to high latitudes. Furthermore, the conspicuous shift from a peridinioid-dominated to a gonyaulacoid-dominated dinoflagellate cyst assemblage towards the Aquitanian-Burdigalian boundary (~20.7 Ma) indicates a reduction in marine primary productivity. This paleoproductivity decline was probably driven by the initial constriction of the Central American Seaway.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aquitanian-Burdigalian; Caribbean Sea; Central American Seaway; Dinoflagellate cysts; P/G ratio; Paleoproductivity

Geographic Coverage

Caribbean Sea

Time Period

Early Miocene

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

15 Nov 2020