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New Evidences of an Active Strike-slip Fault System in Northern Venezuela, near Offshore Perla Field

Benkovics, Laszlo1; Asensio, Albert; Colmenares, Julio; Carrington, Jaclyn; and Martinez, Wenceslao I.
1[email protected]

The Perla Field is located in the Gulf of Venezuela, to the west of the Paraguaná Peninsula in 60 m water depth. The Gulf lies at the interaction of the Caribbean and South American plates, and generates two important petroleum systems (Cretaceous and Paloegene) in a unique geological setting. A recent 3D survey (~700 km²) reveals a previously unknown Paleogene to Recent complex structural history. A critical strike-slip fault was recognized on the basis of en echelon fault patterns in the younger Neogene sedimentary sequences in the northern part of the survey. The en echelon fault pattern strikes NW-SE and shows an impressive similitude to experimental physical models. The strike-slip fault is rooted in the basement to an E-W trending linear segment. Along the strike, transpression and transtension can be recognized depending on the small variations of the fault direction. The fault was active after the Paleogene, and cuts up to the surface, indicating recent tectonic activity along the strike- slip fault. This is a dextral strike-slip fault and the individual en echelon faults do not connect to each other suggesting that the strike-slip movement is minor. To the East, the fault connects to the northern part of the Paraguaná Peninsula, where it was recognized during earlier geological mapping in E-W strike and named Punta Macolla Fault. The fault separates Neogene sediments onshore and shows similar strike slip pattern, but new seismic data indicate that this strike-slip fault can be traced offshore, at least 40 km to the west.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90166©2013 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Cartagena, Colombia, 8-11 September 2013