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ABSTRACT: Gladden Pull-Apart Basin, Ofshore Belize

The junction of the American and Caribbean plates in Belize has created a complex structural setting for oil and gas exploration. Recent seismic offshore Belize has been used to identify three structural provinces, from west to east: a shallow thrust zone, a narrow upthrown wrench faulted zone and a deeper extensional basin, named the Gladden Pull-Apart Basin. Hydrocarbon leakage from recent fault movement appears to have depleted the shallow structures to the west, but the pull-apart basin has a thick sequence of low-frequency clay-dominated sealing rocks with the potential to preserve hydrocarbon accumulations in Cretaceous carbonate banks. These buried carbonate banks are of the same age and depositional environment of Mexico's Golden Lane/Tabasco Reforma carbonate banks which are orld class giant fields. The Belize and Mexican carbonate banks are within the same Cretaceous depositional basin, the Peten Basin.

Seismic interpretations in offshore Belize have been integrated with gravity and magnetic surveys. This provides additional support for the deep extensional basin. The location of the thick Cretaceous carbonate banks is better interpreted with the integration of these three geophysical tools. Airborne geochemical surveys were used to detect the presence of oil seeps on the east and west basin margins.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90988©1993 AAPG/SVG International Congress and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela, March 14-17, 1993.