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Abstract: The Eocene Turbidites of the Trujillo Formation, Venezuelan Andes

S. K. Ghosh, E. Zambrano

The Trujillo Formation, overlying the Paleocene Cerro Verde and Valle Hondo formations, reveals a turbiditic origin in a lowstand shelf-edge and bathyal setting in two excellent road sections on the Valera-Carache road and many creek sections. The basal outcrop shows well developed fining upward (FU) sequences of proximal channel turbidite and overbank origin (abandonment phase) and minor coarsening upward (CU) sequences representing progradational pulse in overbank areas. The FU (and thinning-upward) sequence, overlying a shale, consists of: (a) basal stacked conglomeratic arenites (probably inner fan channels) with graded beds, imbricate casts and transported shells; (b) a sand/shale alternating unit (channel margin/interchannel) with flame structure, lenticular bedding infrequent Tb-d Sequence, rippled flats, and rare Planolites; and (c) a dark shale (overbank-interchannel lows) with scarce Chondrites and Scaladtuba traces. The CU sequence consists of thickening-upward heterolithic facies overlain by lenticular stacked pebbly arenites.

The upper unit exposed near Puente Gomez is a typical progradational lobe starting with a basal shale, with intraformational diastems and slumped beds, and Tb-d and Tb-e sequences in thin intercalated sandstones; a heterolithic facies with flute/groove casts, Planolites, Thalassinoides and Neonereites occurs between the shale and a thick cross-stratified sandstone at the top. This CU lobe sequence is discordantly(?) overlain by a thin wedge of massive bedded pebbly sandstones of Middle Eocene(?) Misoa Formation.

Unlike the southwesterly sourced subsurface turbidites, those in this area were probably sourced from both the south and north, though locally the southern source might have been more important.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90951©1996 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela