Primitive Cretaceous island-arc volcanic rocks in Eastern Cuba: the Téneme Formation

J. A. Proenza*, R. Díaz-Martínez, A. Iriondo, C. Marchesi, J. C. Melgarejo, F. Gervilla, C. J. Garrido, A. Rodríguez-Vega, R. Lozano-Santacruz, J. A. Blanco-Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The Téneme Formation is located in the Mayarí-Cristal ophiolitic massif and represents one of the three Cretaceous volcanic Formations established in northeastern Cuba. Téneme volcanics are cut by small bodies of 89.70 ± 0.50 Ma quarz-diorite rocks (Río Grande intrusive), and are overthrusted by serpentinized ultramafics. Téneme volcanic rocks are mainly basalts, basaltic andesites, andesites, and minor dacites, and their geochemical signature varies between low-Ti island arc tholeiites (IAT) with boninitic affinity (TiO2 < 0.4 %; high field strength elements ≪ N-type MORB) and typical oceanic arc tholeiites (TiO2 = 0.5-0.8 %). Basaltic rocks exhibit low light REE/Yb ratios (La/Yb < 5), typical of intraoceanic arcs and are comparable to Maimón Formation in Dominican Republic (IAT, pre Albian) and Puerto Rican lavas of volcanic phase I (island arc tholeiites, Aptian to Early Albian). The mantle wedge signature of the Uneme Formation indicates a highly depleted MORB-type mantle source, without any contribution of E-MORB or OIB components. Our results suggest that Téneme volcanism represents a primitive oceanic island arc environment. If the Late Cretaceous age (Turonian or early Coniacian) proposed for Téneme Formation is correct, our results indicate that the Cretaceous volcanic rocks of eastern Cuba and the Dominican Republic are not segments of a single arc system, and that in Late Cretaceous (Albian-Campanian) Caribbean island arc development is not represented only by calc-alkaline (CA) volcanic rocks as has been suggested in previous works.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalGeologica Acta
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cuba
  • Geochemistry
  • Primitive-island arc
  • Téneme Formation
  • Volcanic rocks


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