The Proterozoic Basement of the Western Guiana Shield and the Northern Andes

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Proterozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks belonging to the Guiana Shield form the basement of the Colombian territory from its eastern borders westwards to at least the eastern flanks of the Central Cordillera. A small part of the Amazonian basement underlain by felsic metavolcanics records the Trans-Amazonian Orogeny (2.26–1.98 Ga), the major orogenic event that shaped most of the Guiana Shield. The main part of the Colombian Amazonian and Orinoquian basement and of the adjacent Venezuelan and Brazilian territories consists of high-grade, largely supracrustal metamorphic rocks which accreted onto the Trans-Amazonian basement during the Querarí Orogeny (1.86–1.72 Ga) and was intruded by Mesoproterozoic anorogenic plutons around 1.59–1.51 Ga. The Andean Precambrian basement crops out in upthrust blocks all along the Eastern and eastern Central Cordillera, from the Garzón Massif in the south to the Guajira Peninsula in the north, and continues further northeast into Venezuela and eastwards into the Subandean basins. The Andean basement consists mainly of granulites and other high-grade metamorphic rocks, mainly of supracrustal origin, as well as minor plutons, formed during the Grenvillian Orogeny (1.1–0.9 Ga) caused by the collision of Amazonian and Laurentia. Echos of this collision are also discernable in the adjacent Amazonian basement as large shear faults, folding and low-grade metamorphism of Mesoproterozoic sandstone sequences, thermal mineral age resetting and minor alkaline magmatism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeology and Tectonics of Northwestern South America
Subtitle of host publicationThe Pacific-Caribbean-Andean Junction
EditorsFabio Cediel, Robert Peter Shaw
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
Number of pages78
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76132-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76131-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Earth Sciences


  • Amazonian craton
  • Continental accretion
  • Continental collision
  • Cratonization
  • Geochronological provinces
  • Grenvillian orogeny
  • Querarí orogeny
  • Trans-Amazonian orogeny


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