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Multichannel seismic reflection surveys across the North Venezuelan margin between 64 and 70° W provide new data on the three major structural elements of the area; the Venezuelan Basin margin along the Curacao Ridge, the episutural Falcon and Bonaire Basins, and the southern Guyana Shield continental crust. The Curacao Ridge consists of a thick, elongated belt of deformed sediments; it resulted from Neogene underthrusting of Venezuelan Basin crust. The formation of the onshore Falcon and offshore Bonaire Basins appears to have begun in Middle or Late Eocene. Structures observed in these basins suggest regional compression with attendant folding, faulting, and differential vertical movement. Northern elements of the Guyana Shield, including the Merida Andes to the west, appear to have been involved to some extent in tectonic movements of the margin in Cretaceous to Pliocene times.

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