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Book Chapter

Tectonic Setting and Paleogeography of Colombia and Its Offshore Area

Published:
January 01, 2015

Abstract

A great variety of complex structures found in northern Colombia, northern Venezuela, the Lesser Antilles, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago record the eastward movement of the Caribbean plate relative to the South American plate through time. The development of these structures includes transtensional and foredeep basins as well as fold-and-thrust belts that become younger eastward since the Cretaceous. In northern Colombia, terrane accretion began in the Triassic and ended in the late Cretaceous, along the Gulf of Uraba, and the Sinu–San Jacinto Belt. Further east, the structure offshore Guajira, east from the Bucaramanga fault, is characterized by accretion involving the South American metamorphic basement. Well and seismic data in the Maracaibo Basin record the Paleogene flexure related to terrane collision and accretion. In the Gulf of Venezuela, offshore eastern Falcon, and La Vela, transtensional basins record the eastward movement of the Caribbean plate. Onshore northern Venezuela, the Villa de Cura subduction mélange in the Cordillera de la Costa nappes represents the accretionary wedges involving ophiolites of Eocene age. The Guarico flysch records the flexure of the accretionary wedge during Oligocene time and fills the foredeep of the same age. The Cariaco, Carupano, and La Blanquilla are pull-apart basins related to a younger Oligocene–Miocene-stage strike-slip as the Caribbean plate advances toward the east. Ophiolitic obduction of the Caribbean oceanic domain onto the accreted terranes is represented by the thrusted ophiolites of Isla Margarita. The Monagas area or Serrania del Interior folded belt is a characterized Oligocene to Miocene thin-skinned thrusting involving the passive margin units of the South American plate and is overlain by the Carapita accretionary wedge. The Maturin Basin is the flexural basin associated with the loading of the Serrania del Interior thrust stack and extends to the east toward the Delta Centro and Punta Pescador areas, in the Orinoco delta and south of Trinidad. The Gulf of Paria pull-apart basin in eastern Venezuela and Trinidad developed since the late Miocene and is the easternmost strike-slip basin related to the eastward advance of the Caribbean plate, and terminates against the frontal accretionary wedge of the Caribbean plate of Barbados and Trinidad that is a Miocene to present-day shale-dominated accretionary wedge.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Petroleum Geology and Potential of the Colombian Caribbean Margin

Claudio Bartolini
Claudio Bartolini
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Paul Mann
Paul Mann
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
108
ISBN electronic:
9781629812724
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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