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A Provisional Palynostratigraphic Scheme for the Early Miocene in the Colombian Caribbean Margin

SW Caribbean Virtual Symposium Presentation
AAPG Distinguished Lecture

Authors: Damián Cárdenas (presenter), Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe, Carlos Jaramillo; Missouri University of Science and Technology, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Palynology has been widely used to date sedimentary sequences in Colombia over the last four decades, especially in terrestrial environments. While palynostratigraphic schemes in Colombia—which primarily rely on pollen and spores—are reliable in onshore basins, increasing offshore exploration activities in the Caribbean require detailed studies of both terrestrial and marine palynomorphs. Although dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts) and acritarchs are widely used for biostratigraphic purposes in shallow to marginal marine sequences worldwide, there are few marine palynological studies in the Caribbean. Here, we present new data on dinocysts and acritarchs from a well-calibrated, shallow-marine sequence drilled in the Cocinetas Basin, Alta Guajira. We propose a novel marine palynostratigraphic scheme that comprises a late Chattian–early Aquitanian Minisphaeridium latirictum Interval Zone (~23.9–22.0 Ma), a late Aquitanian Achomosphaera alcicornu Interval Zone (~22.0–20.3 Ma), and a Burdigalian Cribroperidinium tenuitabulatum Interval Zone (~20.3–17.5 Ma). Our results not only demonstrate the potential of marine palynology for oil and gas exploration in the Colombian Caribbean Margin, but also highlight the need to establish a palynological zonation for this region.


Damián Cárdenas Loboguerrero, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Damian earned a BSc in Geology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and is a PhD Candidate at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he develops analysis and interpretation of Neogene palynological data in the Tropical Americas.

In his two years of experience in the industry, he previously worked as Geologist-Palynologist at both the Colombian Petroleum Institute and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Damian is a member of AAPG, Geological Society of America, Paleontological Society and Palynological Society

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