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The approximately N-S–trending Andean retroarc fold-and-thrust belt is the locus of up to 300 km of Cenozoic shortening at the convergent plate boundary where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America. Inherited pre-Cenozoic differences in the overriding plate are largely responsible for the highly segmented distribution of hydrocarbon resources in the fold-and-thrust belt. We use an ~7500-km-long, orogen-parallel (“strike”) structural cross section drawn near the eastern terminus of the fold belt between the Colombia-Venezuela border and the south end of the Neuquén Basin, Argentina, to illustrate the control these inherited crustal elements have on structural styles and the distribution of...

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