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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Petroleum Geology

Abstract

Journal of Petroleum Geology, Vol.16, No.4, pp. 451-464, 1993

┬ęCopyright 2000 Scientific Press, Ltd.

BASIN EVOLUTION AND PROSPECTIVITY OF THE ARGENTINE CONTINENTAL MARGIN

M. L. Keeley* and M. P. R. Light*

* Intera Information Technologies, Highlands Farm, Greys Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 4PS.


Abstract

Nine Mesozoic-Tertiary basins of different orientations lie along the Argentine continental margin, over a distance exceeding 2,000 km: these are the Salado, Colorado, Valdes Rawson, San Jorge offshore, North Malvinas (San Julian), West Malvinas and Magallanes (Austral) Basins on the Continental Shelf: together with the Continental Slope. These basins formed following the latest Jurassic-Early Cretaceous extension that accompanied the onset of South Atlantic rifting. Strain was modified by earlier basement fabrics with consequent transtension. The Cape Fold Belt (Permo-Triassic) provided a NW-SE grain to pre-Mesozoic cover off NE Argentina. In the central-southern sector, several phases of oblique NEwards Pacific subduction and terrane accretion during the Permo-Triassic, formed back-arc basins and volcanic belts producing a more variable fabric orientated close to NNW-SSE. Atlantic basin fill, of Lower Cretaceous-Tertiary clastics, was deposited as a result of rift-shoulder erosion and Atlantic flooding, following eastward tilting. Basin fill thickness is typically 2-4 km, but locally exceeds 6km. The hydrocarbon potential of these basins hinges as much upon the preservation of source rocks within the pre-rift succession as it does on that of those within the base-rift succession, and sub sequent Atlantic anoxic events.

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