Honduras Geology (updated
INCISED MEANDERS OF THE RIO PATUCA, STREAM PIRACY AND LANDFORM DEVELOPMENT
OF LA MOSQUITIA, CENTRAL AMERICA ( Fifteenth Caribbean Geological Conference,
1998, Kingston, Jamaica, Articles, Field Guides and Abstracts, Contributions
to Geology UWI Mona #3, p.92)
Robert D. ROGERS
334 Williams Avenue North, Renton WA 98055 USA, tele: (425) 228-1592.
The Mosquitia plains and Nicaragua Rise originated by Cenozoic uplift of
Paleozoic-Mesozoic strata within the drainage basin of the Rio Patuca.
Nearly 500 km in length and draining 23,900 km2, the Rio Patuca
has incised more than 300 meters into metamorphic rock along nearly 150
km of its upper course. Incised meanders record Cenozoic uplift undisrupted
by the Neogene strike-slip deformation that affects much of the Chortis
block. Plio-Pleistocene(?) stream piracy diverted the Rio Patuca north
of its passage through the Sutawala valley in the Montañas de Colon,
diverting perhaps half the flow of the paleo-Coco-Patuca river (PCPR).
The PCPR carried the flow of the combined Coco+Patuca Rivers, and deposited
fluvial sediments on the Mosquitia plains and the Nicaragua Rise. The Patuca
piracy shifted clastic deposition north of Cabo Gracias during the late
Cenozoic. The Mosquitia plains and part of the Nicaragua Rise record subaerial
deposition of coarse-grained siliciclastics eroded from the uplifted terrain
in the upper Patuca drainage. Holocene sea level rise drowned the Nicaragua
Rise and resulted in development of deltas at the mouths of the Rios Coco,
Cruta, and Patuca. The lower Patuca currently meanders across broad Holocene
flood plains developed on Pleistocene and earlier depositional surfaces.
The poster session of this presentation is being converted and will be
available soon. Rob Rogers, 7/19/98.
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