Tectonic reconstructions of the Caribbean region

contributed by Dr. James Pindell


The plate tectonic history of the Caribbean is shown here by reconstructions of the region at various times in the geologic past. The illustrations are modified from Pindell (1994), which itself is a culmination of several other papers (see references below).

Late Miocene (10 million years)

Early Miocene (21 million years)

Early Oligocene (35 million years)

Middle Eocene (49 million years)

Paleocene (59 million years)

Late Cretaceous - Maastrichtian (70 million years)

Campanian (76 million years)

Turonian (90 million years)

Early Cretaceous - late Albian (100 million years)

Barremian/early Aptian (120 million years)

Valanginian (130 million years)

Jurassic - Bathonian (175 million years)

Triassic -Jurassic (200 million years)


Animation (200 - 35 million years)



Pindell, J.L., 1994, Evolution of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean: in Donovan S.K. and Jackson, T. A. (eds.) Caribbean Geology: an introduction, University of the West Indies Publishers Association/University of the West Indies Press, Kingston, Jamaica, p. 13-39.

Pindell, J. L. and Barrett, S. F., 1990, Geological evolution of the Caribbean region: a plate tectonic perspective in Dengo, G., and Case, J. E., (eds.), The Caribbean, Volume H, Decade of North American Geology, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, p.404-432

Pindell, J. L., and 6 others,1988, A plate-kinematic framework for models of Caribbean evolution, Tectonophysics, v. 155. p. 121-138

Dewey, J.F., and Pindell, J. L., 1986, Neogene block tectonics of eastern Tukey and northern South America: continental applications of the finite difference method, Tectonics, v. 5, p. 703-715

Pindell, J.L., 1985, Alleghenian reconstruction and the subsequent evolution of the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas and proto-Caribbean, Tectonics, v. 4 (1) p. 1-39

Pindell, J. L. and Dewey, J.F., 1982, Permo Triassic reconstruction of western Pangea and the evolution of the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean region: Tectonics, v. 1, p.179-211.