Name: Christine Lipkin
Location: Dominican Republic
Age: Oligocene to Miocene
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Geological setting and age
of the Dominican Republic


Geological map of the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. Click on map for a larger image.

Geological setting:

There are two main sites that yield amber in the Dominican Republic; Santiago de los Caballeros, in the north, and Santo Domingo, in the east. In the northern area, the amber-bearing unit is the upper part of the La Taco Formation, comprising a suite of clastic rocks. This unit is composed of sandstone with occasional conglomerates that accumulated in a deltaic to deep-water environment. Individual thick, coarse beds are at the base of the formation. These beds grade into the sandstone, which contains the amber, in parallel lamination with occasional ripple marks preserved on the surfaces.

In the eastern area, the amber-bearing sediments are found in the Yanigua Formation. This formation is composed of organic-rich laminated sand, sandy clay, and some intercalated lignite. Isolated beds of gravel and calcarenite occur. True alluvial sediments are absent in the Yanigua Formation. Amber pieces are found embedded in lignite and sandy clay. The fossils found in these beds imply that deposition occurred in a near-shore, coastal lagoon.

Palaeogeographically, the northern and eastern areas seem to be part of the same sedimentary basin that was later disrupted by movements along major faults. Palaeocurrent analysis of the amber-bearing rocks in the northern area suggest that the source of sediment came from the southeast. This indicates that the only plausible source of resin would have been from the surrounding depositional basin (Iturralde-Vincent and MacPhee, 1996).

Geographic coordinates: 19 00 N, 70 40 W

Age:

The age of the Dominican amber is from Oligocene to Miocene, 10 to 30 million years old (Poinar, 2001). However, there has not been a consensus on the age of Dominican amber (Iturralde-Vincent and MacPhee, 1996).

The map above was adapted from: http://www.fiu.edu/orgs/caribgeol/hispaniola.html


Section author: Christine Lipkin
Last updated: 28/11/02

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This section is part of a Fossil Lagersttten web site which has been built up as a result of the efforts of the 2002-3 MSc Palaeobiology class in the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Bristol, as part of a course in Scientific Communication.


Department of Earth Sciences
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1RJ
http://www.gly.bris.ac.uk