Economic geology of the Zipaquira quadrangle and adjoining area, Department of Cundinamarca, Colombia

Open-File Report 70-208




At least four evaporite sequences are interbedded with Cretaceous strata in the Bogotga area of the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. The easternmost and oldest evaporite interval is of probable Berriasian-Valanglnian age; the next oldest is of probable late Barremian-early Aptian age, and is followed by a possible late Aptian sequence. The westernmost and best known sequence is Turonian-early Coniacian in age, in the Sabana de Bogota. This youngest sequence contains the thickest known salt deposits and is probably the most widespread geographically. Three gypsum deposits of probable Barremian-Valanginian age are in the eastern part of the area under investigation. These deposits may have been leached from former salt accumulations. No other evaporites are exposed, but numerous brine springs are known, That the sources of these brines are neither deep not distant is suggested by the generally high concentrations, of the brines, the local presence of rute (leached salt residue), and the commonly significant amounts of H2S gas emitted at these springs. The rock salt exposed in three accessible mines commonly has a characteristic lamination caused by alternating layers of relatively pure halite and very argillaceous halite. Ubiquitously scattered throughout all salt deposits are small clasts of black, commonly pyritic, marly claystone. This lithology is also present as large claystone bodies conformably interbedded in the salt strata. Anhydrite is rare and is apparently more abundant at the Zipaquira mine that at the Nemocon and Upin mine. Paleontologic evidence in the Sabana de Bogota demonstrates that the salt-claystone series, hematite impregnated strata, and carbonaceous to locally coaly claystone are coeval. The salt-claystone facies may have been deposited in shallow evaporite pans that were separated within the overall evaporite interval by barriers on which the locally hematitic strata were deposited. The carbonaceous facies may also have formed in barrier areas or on the edges of the evaporite basins. Whether or not this facies relationship prevails in the older evaporite intervals is not known; meager evidence suggests that it does. Nonmetallic mineral resources other than the evaporite minerals are phosphate rock, limestone, kaolinite, and emeralds. Metallic mineral deposits present in the Zone include hematite at Pericos, La Caldera, Tibirita, Nueva Vizcaya, and Cerro de Montecristo; chalcopyrite at Cerro do Cobre and at Farallones de Medina; galena in several places along the Rio Farallones and Rio Gacheta; and spahlerite in the Junin district.

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Economic geology of the Zipaquira quadrangle and adjoining area, Department of Cundinamarca, Colombia
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey],
125 p. ill., maps (some col.) ;27 cm.