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The tectonic framework of northwestern South America suggests two major trends oriented approximately N. 40° E. and N. 30° W. These two trends are continuous over gret distances and cross each other at an angle of about 70°. The trends appear to reflect the orientation of large blocks which are possibly controlled by the law of isostasy and separated from each other by zones of weakness. The major elements of the framework are reflected in the detailed structure of the pliable sediments and consequently have had an indirect but far-reaching effect on the accumulation of oil.
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