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Tectono-stratigraphic Evolution of the Columbus Basin Shelf to Deepwater Basin System

Tricia Alvarez
The University of Texas at Austin; Jackson School of Geosciences Austin, Texas
[email protected]

Over three billion barrels of oil and twenty-two trillion feet of gas have been discovered in the fifty year history of exploration and production activity on the Columbus Basin shelf; however the deep and ultra-deep water areas of the basin remain largely under-explored with no commercial hydrocarbon discovery to date. Additionally, previous workers have been focused on geologic evaluations within individual provinces of the Trinidad area; however this study attempts to build a comprehensive interpretation linking the onshore and offshore east coast provinces.

An integrated dataset which includes outcrop, seismic, gravity, magnetic, well and remotely sensed data is used to study the basin system from the Orinoco delta source to the deep marine sink off the east coast of Trinidad. This study aims to evaluate the potential for a working hydrocarbon system in the deep basin including: (1) understanding the reservoir potential through a quantitative analysis of the sediment transport routes from the Orinoco Delta and partitioning across the shelf, slope and basin floor and (2) the genetic relationships among the structures observed on the shelf, deep basin and the Barbados Accretionary prism and the implications for trap formation.

As the youngest of a series of eastward stepping foreland basins developed at the edge of an oblique transpressive plate boundary, the Columbus Basin and greater Trinidad area may be the proto-type for sedimentary basin evolution at locations where a large sediment source interacts with an active tectonic margin.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90094 © 2009 AAPG Foundation Grants in Aid