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KAUFFMAN, ERLE G., TOMAS VILLAMIL, and CLAUDIA C. JOHNSON, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

ABSTRACT: Cretaceous Sequence Stratigraphy of the Northern South American Passive Margin: Implications for Tectonic Evolution

The passive margin of northern South America, from Colombia to northeastern Venezuela, was relatively stable through the Cretaceous and only broadly affected by the entry of the Caribbean Plate into the Protocaribbean Basin. This region offers a unique opportunity to test the relative effects of global sealevel change, autocyclic sedimentologic processes, and regional tectonics in shaping the stratigraphic record of Cretaceous passive margins. High-resolution stratigraphic studies of Colombia and Venezuela have established a precise system of regional chronology and correlation with resolution <1 Ma (50-500 ka for the middle Cretaceous); this allows precise separation of allocyclic and autocyclic controls on facies development. This new chronology integrates assemblage zone biostra igraphy with event/cycle chronostratigraphy. Newly measured Cretaceous sections in Venezuela and throughout Colombia are calibrated to this new chronology, and sequence stratigraphic units independently defined to the third-order of resolution. Graphic correlation of all sections is used to identify sequences with regional stratigraphic expression, and those which correlate to sequence stratigraphic standards of North America, Europe and the global cycles of Haq et al. (1988). 50-60 percent of the stratigraphic sequences across the South American passive margin correlate to other continents and to the global sequence stratigraphic standard, reflecting strong eustatic influence on Cretaceous sedimentation across northern South America. The remaining sequences in this region reflect tecton c modification of the passive margin, and autocyclic sedimentary processes.

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