Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Research article
01 Mar 2024
Research article |  | 01 Mar 2024

Extensional exhumation of cratons: insights from the Early Cretaceous Rio Negro–Juruena belt (Amazonian Craton, Colombia)

Ana Fonseca, Simon Nachtergaele, Amed Bonilla, Stijn Dewaele, and Johan De Grave

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Cited articles

Abbey, A. L., Wildman, M., Stevens Goddard, A. L., and Murray, K. E.: Thermal history modeling techniques and interpretation strategies: Applications using QTQt, Geosphere, 19, 493–530,, 2023. 
Almeida, M. E. and Mendes, T. M. A.: Geological and mineral resources map of South America: sheet NA.19 – Pico da Neblina (preliminary version), Geological Survey of Brazil – CPRM, (last access: 5 July 2023), 2021. 
Amaya, S., Zuluaga, C. A., and Bernet, M.: New fission-track age constraints on the exhumation of the central Santander Massif: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the Northern Andes, Colombia, Lithos, 282–283, 388–402,, 2017. 
Artemieva, I. M.: Global 1° × 1° thermal model TC1 for the continental lithosphere: Implications for lithosphere secular evolution, Tectonophysics, 416, 245–277,, 2006. 
Artemieva, I. M. and Vinnik, L. P.: Density structure of the cratonic mantle in southern Africa: 1. Implications for dynamic topography, Gondwana Res., 39, 204–216,, 2016. 
Short summary
This study explores the erosion and exhumation processes and history of early continental crust hidden within the Amazonian Rainforest. This crust forms part of the Amazonian Craton, an ancient continental fragment. Our surprising findings reveal the area underwent rapid early Cretaceous exhumation triggered by tectonic forces. This discovery challenges the traditional perception that cratons are stable and long-lived entities and shows they can deform readily under specific geological contexts.