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Abstract: Folded Belt of the Western Gulf of Mexico

Albert Bally, Gorgonio Garcia Molina, Guillermo Perez Cruz

The western Gulf of Mexico is bounded by the folded belts of the Laramide Sierra Madra Oriental, and the Neogene Sierra de Chiapas - Riforma - Campache folds. These folded belts are characterized by a mid-Jurassic evaporitic decollement level as well as by deep intrabasement decoupling levels.

Both orogenic systems are superposed by mostly Neogene gravitational extensional-compressional growth faults and decollement folds. To the north and offshore Central Mexico these gravitational systems are due to Paleocene-Neogene (Rio Grande) depocenters interacting with the uplift of the Mexican plateau. To the south the gravitational system is due to dominantly Neogene (Usunacinta-Grijalva) depocenters overlying the Neogene folded belt and re-acting to the "escaping salt" accumulated in the allochthonous Campeche salt masses.

The Neogene Sierra de Chiapas folded belt appears as a compressional transfer zone between a sinistral transtensional system underlying the Trans Mexican volcanic belt and the sinistral Polochic-Motagua strike system.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France