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Middle Miocene Chiapas fold and thrust belt of Mexico: a result of collision of the Tehuantepec Transform/Ridge with the Middle America Trench

By
J. J. Mandujano-Velazquez
J. J. Mandujano-Velazquez
Subdirección de Exploración y Producción, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo. Avenida Lázaro Cárdenas Norte 152, San Bartolo Atepehuacán, Delegación Gustavo A. Madero, C. P. 07730, México D. F.
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J. Duncan Keppie
J. Duncan Keppie
Departamento de Geologı́a Regional, Instituto de Geologı́a, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, C. P. 04510, México D. F.
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Published:
January 01, 2009

Abstract

The Middle Miocene, thin-skinned, Chiapas fold-and-thrust belt (Gulf of Mexico–southeastern Mexico–Belize) consists of WNW-trending folds and thrusts, and East–West sinistral transcurrent faults resulting from N60°E shortening. Balanced cross-sections indicate that shortening varies from 48% (SW) to c. 8% (NE) with a total shortening of 106 km, and that thrusts merge into a basal décollement in the Callovian salt horizon. The Middle Miocene age of the deformation is synchronous with collision of the Tehuantepec Transform/Ridge with the Middle America Trench off Chiapas. The presently exposed Tehuantepec Transform/Ridge varies from a transform fault across which the age of the oceanic crust changes producing a step (down to the east) to a ridge resulting from compression following a change in plate motion and a series of seamounts. On the other hand, the earthquake data show that the part of the Tehuantepec Transform/Ridge subducted during the past 5 Ma is a step with no accompanying ridge. Whereas collision of a ridge segment with the trench is inferred to be responsible for the 13–11 Ma deformation in the upper plate, its termination at 11 Ma suggests an along-strike transition to a step. Collision of the Tehuantepec Transform/Ridge also appears to have terminated arc magmatism along the Pacific coast of Chiapas. The similarity between the petroleum-producing, Cantarell structure in the Sonda de Campeche and the buried foldbelt in the Sierra de Chiapas suggests there is considerable further hydrocarbon potential.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Ancient Orogens and Modern Analogues

J. B. Murphy
J. B. Murphy
St Francis Xavier University, Canada
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J. D. Keppie
J. D. Keppie
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
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A. J. Hynes
A. J. Hynes
McGill University, Canada
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Geological Society of London
Volume
327
ISBN electronic:
9781862395756
Publication date:
January 01, 2009

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