PALEOGEOGRAPHIC MAPS, MATURIN BASIN OF E. VENEZUELA AND TRINIDAD

G.M. ROHR
Consultant, Denver, Colorado



The northern margin of the Maturin basin of E. Venezuela and Trinidad is part of the Caribbean-South American plate-boundary zone and deformation within the zone reflects relative motions of these two plates. Stratigraphic sections within this zone do not record sedimentation at a fixed site but rather the different paleogeographic locations occupied by a piece of lithosphere as it migrated through space and time. This paper presents a method of restoring stratigraphic control to its site of deposition. The method assumes a constant rate of 2 cm/yr. of relative eastward motion for the Caribbean plate in the vicinity of Trinidad and a uniform distribution of sheer among numerous wrench faults within the boundary zone. A compressional component is independently derived by restoring a NNW-SSE cross-section through Trinidad. Litho-stratigraphic reference sections from Venezuela and Trinidad are correlated. The Central Range of Trinidad is reinterpreted as a paleo-shelf -edge which has undergone more than 90 degrees of clockwise rotation since middle Eocene. The buried thrust front found productive in Venezuela at El Furrial is traced eastward across Trinidad and into the offshore. Restored paleogeographic maps are presented for Mid-Pliocene (3 m.a.); Mid-Miocene (14 m.a.); the Oligocene Miocene boundary (22 m.a.) and Mid-Eocene (45 m.a.).


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