Lake Izabal Basin Research Endeavor


The Lake Izabal Basin (LIB) is an active pull-apart basin that developed along the Polochic Fault (PF), the northern left-lateral fault of the Polochic-Motagua Fault System (PMFS). The PMFS represents the western, onland extension of the North American (NA) and Caribbean (CA) plate boundary. Preliminary analysis of an industry well, reflection seismic profiles, and outcrops indicate that the basin fill is thick and asymmetric, with more than 4 km of sedimentary rocks that started to accumulate in the early Miocene. We intent to 1) produce climate records over multiple glacial-interglacial cycles, and potentially into the Pliocene, making LIB a very attractive target for improving our understanding of climate and its changes in the Neotropics; 2) provide a Quaternary record that will allow the estimation of rates of origination, extinction, and migration of species that gave rise to the main vegetation types that occupy the area today; and 3) provide a long record to understand volcanic activity along the Central American volcanic arc.

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