Isthmus of Panama: Zircons

Angel Barbosa
August 17, 2016
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magnified zircon crystals
Angel Barbosa

Zircon crystals are like fingerprints holding clues of their source. For example, zircons found in 15 million year old river sediments in Colombia possess a signature like volcanic rocks on the Isthmus of Panama, which led researchers to believe that a land bridge must have connected the two realms at that time. However, zircons with similar signatures also occur in volcanic rocks across northern Colombia casting doubts on their exclusively Panamanian origin and the proposal for an old Isthmus of Panama.

Image: Angel Barbosa