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ROBERTO, MARCOS, Maraven S.A., Caracas, Venezuela, BERNARD DUVAL, and CARLOS CRAMEZ, Total, Paris, La DEfense, France

ABSTRACT: Inversion Tectonics in the Maracaibo Area, Venezuela

Sequence stratigraphy and structural interpretation of regional composite seismic lines and new 3D seismic data of Lake Maracaibo lead us to question the old "strike-slip fault movement" geological paradigm as the major cause of deformation in this area. The pre-Miocene compressional structures of the majority of the oil fields of this area such as Ceuta, Lama, Motatan, etc., are easily and better explained as the result of a Tertiary Tectonic Inversion. Such inversion can be interpreted as a consequence of shortening of "depocenters" (grabens and half grabens) developed during extensional phases of a back-arc basin. During this shortening, the old faults bordering the "depocenters" were reactivated with reverse movements creating large compressional structural traps in the hanging wa l (old downthrown block). Thin-skinned compressional deformation can occur, locally, outside the major "depocenters", in the footwall areas between faults of opposite vergence.

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