Terrane Accretion and Transpression Created New Exploration Frontiers in Northwestern South America
Luis E. Ardila, Leonardo Diaz, 2015. "Terrane Accretion and Transpression Created New Exploration Frontiers in Northwestern South America", Petroleum Geology and Potential of the Colombian Caribbean Margin, Claudio Bartolini, Paul Mann
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A new concept for the origin of the Colombian Caribbean region is proposed. The separation of the North American plate (NAP), South American plate (SAP), and African plate (AP) initiated from a triple junction made up of two oceanic ridges and one transform fault (R-R-TF). Separation created an oceanic basin associated with a convergent, transform margin, where the oceanic plate was consumed while the northwestern portion of South America was expanded through terrane accretion. Oblique terrane accretion occurred along a margin under transpressive and dextral wrenching. Previous models of the Colombia Caribbean were based on the separation of NAP, SAP, and AP by three oceanic ridges (R-R-R). We see no evidences for an oceanic ridge in the Caribbean. Previous models proposed a convergent margin with the Caribbean plate (CP) being subducted under the SAP or the Colombian Caribbean Margin corresponding to a passive margin. However, the CP was originally part of the Pacific plate and was displaced eastwardly and northeastwardly in between two major transform faults as North and South America separated. Hydrocarbon prospectivity of the Caribbean Colombian Margin is higher using our model than that of a subduction model. Understanding the distribution of the reservoir, seal, and source rocks in our model is critical for prospecting the area. Structural traps of different styles, including basement blocks and positive flower structures resulting from the transpressive settings associated with terrane accretion, are common. We identify numerous untested plays along the Caribbean Margin.
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AAPG Memoir 108 is the first international book published on the petroleum geology and hydrocarbon potential of Colombia’s Caribbean Margin. Tis volume consists of 27 multidisciplinary papers that include a wide range of geological and geophysical topics, such as geochemistry and petroleum systems, earthquake seismology and tomography, seismic stratigraphy and sedimentology, oil and gas exploration plays, carbonate and siliciclastic petrology, basement studies, regional tectonics and structural geology, fold belt structural analyses, potential methods, and studies of deep-sea sedimentation on the Magdalena fan. This highly valuable and innovative piece of information is critical for geoscientists in the petroleum industry, research institutions, and academia. Do not miss the opportunity to learn about the extremely complex but fascinating geology of Colombia's Caribbean Margin and its important hydrocarbon potential.