Editors: Hans G. Avé Lallemant and Virginia B. Sisson
Rocks in plate boundary zones are generally strongly deformed. Rocks in the Mesozoic–Cenozoic Caribbean–South American plate boundary zone in Venezuela are no exception. The first of four major deformation events occurred in Jurassic to Early Cretaceous time and is expressed by normal faults recognized in seismic reflection lines and by extensional mylonites in the Tinaquillo alpine-type peridotite. Subsequently, Early Cretaceous subduction created high-pressure–low-temperature mélanges that were exhumed in the Late Cretaceous to Eocene. Next, north-south contraction resulted in an Eocene fold and thrust belt. The final event from Eocene to Recent resulted in west to east diachronous, right-oblique convergence and collision of the Leeward Antilles arc. All of this is documented with new geochronology, geochemistry, petrology, sequence stratigraphy, structural geology, and reflection seismology.