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This field trip is an overview and reappraisal of the prolific oil basins of southern California (Fig. 1A) using exploration methods now commonly used in international exploration. As a result of the dramatic decline in oil and gas exploration in California during the last decade these mature and well known basins have received limited modern hydrocarbon research and it is hoped that our field trip and guidebook will outline some of the important aspects and questions of these intriguing petroleum systems. We have used balanced cross sections and other types of structural analyses integrated with basin modeling, geochemical and geophysical data to gain new insights into the structure, trapping mechanisms, and petroleum systems (Magoon and Dow, 1994) in a setting combining strike-slip and convergence (transpression). Southern California geology also has the scientific advantage, but societal disadvantage, of earthquakes (Fig. IB) which provide useful data about the deeper structure which will be presented during the trip. Our field examples are in the eastern Ventura basin, Ridge Basin, southern San Joaquin basin, Cuyama basin and western Ventura basin as well as a transect of the western Transverse Ranges (Fig. 1A).

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