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Abstract

The north/northeast-striking Central Cordillera of Colombia is a major tectonic element in northwest South America that is flanked by two sedimentarybasin systems. To the east, a back-arc foreland-basin system extends from the Middle Magdalena Valley basin to the Llanos basin across the now uplifted Eastern Cordillera region. The marginal trench along the western side of the Central Cordillera evolved into forearc basins and fringing accretionary fold belts in the Lower Magdalena Valley basin and the Caribbean offshore.

In this paper, we integrate recent evaluations from the Andes and Caribbean regions of Colombia and summarize the chronologies of geologic events that led to the formation of this complex convergent-margin geodynamic system. In general, such chronologies fit published models of Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic westeast movement of the Caribbean plate relative to South America, and Neogene west-east subduction of the Nazca plate underneath South America.

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