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Structural analysis, interpretation of seismic reflection lines, and apatite fission-track analysis in the western Serranía del Interior fold and thrust belt and in the Guárico basin of north-central Venezuela indicate that the area underwent Mesozoic and Tertiary to Recent deformation. Mesozoic deformation, related to the breakup of Pangea, resulted in the formation of the Espino graben in the southernmost portion of the Guárico basin and the formation of the Proto-Caribbean lithosphere between the diverging North and South American plates. The northern margin of Venezuela became a northward-facing passive margin. Minor normal faults formed in the Guárico basin.

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