An introduction to the geology of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, Panama
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We review the stratigraphy of the Neogene rocks of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, western Caribbean coast of Panama, and provide new geological maps and a preliminary description of new Neogene formations on the islands of Bastimentos and Colon. The Punta Alegre and Valiente formations range in age from 19 to 12 Ma. After a hiatus from 12 to 8 Ma, a transgressive/regressive sedimentary cycle is recorded by the Tobobe, Nancy Point, Shark Hole, Cayo Agua, and Escudo de Veraguas formations (=the Bocas del Toro Group), that range in age from 7.2-5.3 to 1.8 Ma. In contrast, in the northern region, the Old Bank, La Gruta, and Ground Creek units and the Swan Cay Formation only range in age from about 3.5 to 0.78 Ma. The hiatus represented by the unconformity is from 12 to 3.5 Ma. We integrate the geology of the Bocas del Toro archipelago into a brief history of the Neogene of the lower Central American isthmus.