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Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 94, No. 10 (October 2010), P. 15431580.

Copyright copy2010. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1306/01051009111

Migration of Cenozoic deformation in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia interpreted from fission track results and structural relationships: Implications for petroleum systems

Andres Mora,1 Brian K. Horton,2 Andres Mesa,3 Jorge Rubiano,4 Richard A. Ketcham,5 Mauricio Parra,6 Vladimir Blanco,7 Diego Garcia,8 Daniel F. Stockli9

1Ecopetrol, Instituto Colombiano del Petroleo, Bucaramanga, Colombia; Andres.mora@ecopetrol.com.co
2Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712; present address: Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78758
3Hocol S.A., Bogota, Colombia
4Ecopetrol, Instituto Colombiano del Petroleo, Bucaramanga, Colombia
5Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712
6Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712
7Ecopetrol, Instituto Colombiano del Petroleo, Bucaramanga, Colombia
8Ecopetrol, Instituto Colombiano del Petroleo, Bucaramanga, Colombia
9Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045

ABSTRACT

Previously unreleased fission-track results and regional structural relationships are used to interpret the migration of deformation during Cenozoic orogenesis in the Eastern Cordillera (Cordillera Oriental) of the Colombian Andes. Low-temperature thermochronological results are based on apatite and zircon fission-track analyses of 41 samples collected along vertical and horizontal transects across the Eastern Cordillera at 4–7degN latitude. Inverse modeling of fission-track results helps delimit the most probable cooling histories caused by exhumation linked to upper-crustal deformation. These inverse models are constrained by known structural geometries, chronostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and vitrinite reflectance data.

Fission-track data and modeling results indicate a close correspondence in the timing and style of deformation along the western and eastern flanks of the Eastern Cordillera. East-directed fold-thrust deformation along the eastern boundary with the Llanos foreland basin was underway by the late Oligocene and early Miocene. Similarly, west-directed fold-thrust structures along the western boundary with the intermontane middle Magdalena Valley Basin became active at approximately the same time. Less well known is the time of initial shortening within the axial segment of the Eastern Cordillera; although fission-track results suggest active exhumation by the early Miocene, shortening may have commenced much earlier during the late Eocene.

Timing relationships for the Eastern Cordillera have important implications for the generation, migration, and accumulation of petroleum in the middle Magdalena Valley intermontane basin and the Llanos foreland basin. Our study provides a regional context to assess the timing of structural trap development and improve exploration and development of new and existing reservoirs in Colombia and analogous fold-thrust systems elsewhere.

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