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Middle Magdalena Valley Report


This report documents the methods, results and conclusions of a satellite- data based structural survey of the Middle Magdalena Valley. Landsat TM jmagery was mosaiced to form the map base for the 1:100,000 scale jnterpretations. Geological mapping and seismic data were incorporated into the study at a workshop at Baker Hughes's office.

The results of the study allow a four-fold sub-division of the region into structural domains and subdomains. Structural style within the Central Cordillera, Magdalena Valley, external Eastern Cordillera and internal Eastern Cordillera has been mapped and explained. Due to the long and complex nature of the tectonic history, fault reactivation has undoubtedly occurred, partially masking earlier events and complicating the tectonic story.

Quantitative analysis of fault and lineament populations shows that both NE- SW and NW-SE trends dominate the fault population within the Magdalena Valley and that these trends were inherited from the Central Cordilleran basement. Trends within the Eastern Cordillera are controlled by the orientation of the orogen, which itself relates to the palaeogeography of the back-arc TablazoMagdalena Basin. The same program applies a strain template to the mapping results that indicates the likely fault reactivations at specific time intervals. Fault reactivation at end Mesozoic, intra-Eocene, Plio-Pieistocene and present day has been modeled The results are shown as a set of colour-coded maps that predict fault motion at a particular instance. Within the Magdalena Valley, the fault style has changed as the influence of the Central and Eastern Cordilleras has changed. Since Miocene-Pliocene compression and loading, maturing oil would have been able to migrate into thrust-related folds in the external foldbelt or into extensional traps related to NE-SW major faults inherited from the Central Cordillera. Later reactivation during the Plio-Pleistocene to present day will serve to preserve or accentuate these trends, not destroy them. It is recommended that unless a complete and up-to-date environmental survey is needed, radar data does not need to be purchased as the Landsat TM has permitted thorough structural mapping.

Summary 1. Introduction 1.1 Project Scope 1.2 Data 1.3 Methods 1.4 Regional geological setting 1.5 Petroleum Prospectivity 1.6 Environmental Aspects 2. Results: Structural interpretation 2.1 Results of the structural interpretations Central Cordillera Eastern Cordillera Magdalena Valley 2.2 Fault reactivation plots and structural summary 4. Conclusions

Figure List
1. Tectonic map of the Northern Andes of Colombia 2. Structural interpretation at 1:250,000 scale 3. Structural interpretation at 1:100,000 scale, sheet 1 4. Structural interpretation at 1:100,000 scale, sheet 2 5. Structural interpretation at 1:100,000 scale, sheet 3 6. Structural interpretation at 1:100,000 scale, sheet 4 7. Structural interpretation at 1:100,000 scale, sheet 5 8. Structural interpretation at 1:100,000 scale, sheet 6 9. Structural interpretation and stratigraphic integration map 10. Summary map 11. Maastrichtian Palaeocene fault reactivation maps 12. Middle Eocene Miocene fault reactivation maps 13. Pliocene Recent fault reactivation maps 14. Rose diagrams

1. Introduction
This report details the methodologies and results of an integrated remote sensing study of the El Rio, Santa Lucia, Accordion and Los Angeles blocks that lie in the central Middle Magdalena valley in Colombia. The work was carried out by Mike Oehlers of NPA in the UK and was initially presented at a workshop at Baker Hughes's office in Houston during the summer of 1999. 1.1 Project Scope Three objectives were to be addressed by the study, which used Landsat TM data from NPA's archive: The primary objective was to map faults and fractures within the Central and Eastern Cordilleras that surround the less exposed Magdalena valley. The project was carried out to produce a general structural model of the basin, Secondly, rose diagrams were generated for each tectonic domain to show how the structural style may vary within the region as a whole Additionally, fault reactivation diagrams were compiled for distinct tectonic phases during the evolution of the region to enable fault motion prediction at key times.

Although environmental interpretation was not part of the project, NPA were asked to describe briefly haw the imagery could enable a crude assessment of terrain types. The mosaic was not specifically designed for such use, as there are a variety of image vintages, but because the bands were chosen to show different vegetation types that might reveal different lithologies, it would be suitable for determining a basic environmental sub-division. 1.2 Data Landsat TM data from NPA's extensive archive was mosaiced together in an attempt to provide a seamless, cloud-free image of the Middle Magdalena Valley. The final mosaic comprised parts of 10 or so images that were joined to minimise cloud coverage. Six 1:100,000 scale sheets and one 1:250,000 scale mosaic were produced onto which the results were compiled. Bands 3, 5 and 4 were used and displayed as blue, green and red respectively. As mentioned above, this band combination provides good vegetation discrimination, which can point to different lithoiogies and provide information about the health and maturity of contrasting vegetation types. ln addition to the satellite data, NPA had access to geological maps, seismic lines, oil field maps and other miscellaneous exploration data supplied by Baker Hughes and Tecnopetrol at the workshop held in Houston in July

1.3 Methods The interpretation concentrated on identifying the structure of the thrust belt, the type of folding and the relationship this has with thrusting, the compartmentalisation of the thrust belt by oblique wrench faults, ramps and ramp-related folding. Extensional domains within the system were picked out and explained in relation to the tectonic setting. The data from the exposed highland regions were used to extrapolate these trends into the Magdalena valley, where post Miocene sediment blankets and occludes much of the structural signature. Data from the geological maps and seismic lines were also incorporated into the interpretation. The resulting structural interpretation was then analysed by producing rose diagrams for each structural domain: this would indicate which trends were the most dominant. This was to be achieved by using proprietary software developed by NPA. The same program can colour all segments of faults and fractures/lineaments by virtue of their orientation. Using a predetermined tectonic strain template, it would be possible to colour code the structural features according to their reactivation at any selected time. 1.4 Regional Geological Setting The Middle Magdalena Valley basins occupy a position sandwiched between the easterly verging Central Cordillera and the westerly verging Eastern Cordillera (figure 1). These terranes, which mark the NW extent of the South American (Guyana shield) continental crust, are separated from the late Mesozoic Western Cordillera and the Cenozoic Serrania de Bauda terranes by the Romeral fault. This fault marks the present day suture between the oceanic terranes to the west and the continental crust to the east. The continental crust formed by the Guyana shield was rifted in a back-arc setting in the early Mesozoic as a result of subduction beneath South America and extension in the nascent Atlantic domain. This created a thick Triassic to Jurassic volcano-clastic succession, with subordinate carbonates developed in NE trending rift basins. This is effectively the hydrocarbon- related economic basement (see Schamel, 1991 and references therein). By early Cretaceous time, part of the subducting plate was obducted onto the nascent Central Cordillera via the dextrally transpressive Romeral fault, which represents the early Mesozoic ocean-continent boundary. Lower Cretaceous sediments were deposited in a deepening basin whose extension was probably linked to the opening of the Atlantic (Colleta et all, 1990). Parallic coarse clastics at the base pass up into a marine, limestone-shale facies association some 5000m thick in the basin centre (Schamel, 1991). Development of accommodation space for this sequence is probably related to both regional thermal subsidence and the Late Cretaceous Highstand. This may have been augmented by limited tectonic flexural subsidence (line-load amplification) of the basin provided by the final, oblique collision and accretion of the Western Cordillera during Maastrichtian to early Palaeocene (Coppper et al,

1995). The rising cordilleras to the west may have caused further oceanic restriction, enhancing the deposition of suitable source rocks in the region. The basin was uplifted and eroded during the Middle Eocene in response to eastward verging folding and thrusting along the .eastern margin of the Central Cordillera, although the effects are buried beneath the present Magdalena basins. The thrusting created the first of three molasse sequences, the ChuspasChorro in the Middle Magdalena basin area during the Oligocene as renewed subsidence created additional accommodation space. The second sequence (Honda-Real Fms) resulted from andesitic volcanism and uplift in the Central Cordillera during latest Oligocene. This records the opening moments of the MioPliocene "Andean" orogeny. The last molasse sequence, the Mesa Group, lies above an important regional unconformity, and is related to westward thrusting of the Eastern Cordillera during the Mio-Pliocene. The WNW-directed compression was acompanied, in later stages, by sinistral transpression focused along the Bucaramanga Fault. Ultimately, a Late Pliocene dextral wrenching episode is the last major event to affect the region, which may have resulted in a late Pliocene unconformity. 1.5 Petroleum prospectivity There are three proven play types in the Middle Magdalena Valley that are related to the extensional and compressional tectonic phases that dominated this region during the later Mesozoic and Tertiary. Cretaceous extension created normai fault block-type traps that reservoir oil in fractured La Luna limestones that form small fields (Los Angeles, Tisquirama) in the north of the Middle Magdalena Valley. The most important plays involve mid-late Tertiary compressional and extensional structures with high porosity Palaeocene and EoOligocene channel sandstones in the fold belt (La Cira-lnfantas, Provincia) and Middle Magdalena Valley basin (Casabe, Cantagallo, Velasquez). Source rocks for the Middle Magdalena Valley are thought to originate from two primary successions. The oldest is believed to be the deep-water limestones and shales that populate the lower Cretaceous section. The most productive however, is likely to be the La Luna Formation of mid- to upper Cretaceous age. The La Luna contains predominantly marine or type 2 kerogens that accumulated during the mid to late Cretaceous, as a global sea level high led to overtly anoxic conditions favourable for deposition of exceptionally thick organic-rich sediment. The earlier source is postulated to have matured during the Maastrichtian in the northern Middle Magdalena Valley, its maturity presumably related to deep burial within the Mesozoic basin that straddles the valley in the central and southern portion of the study area. La Luna source rock from the same kitchen reached maturity, was expelled and migrated during the Palaeocene some of which fed into earlier, Mesozoic extensional traps.

The next phase of generation and migration occurred in the Mio-Pliocene, as the result of thrust loading from the east towards the west as the "Andean" orogeny encroached the Middle Magdalena Valley. In the southern part of the study area, the kitchen is mature for gas generation, but further north in the central region, the kitchen is within the oil window. Principal reservoirs in the region are provided by the Eo-Oligocene Chorro and Chuspas groups, which comprise thick molassic channel sandstones with excellent porosities and permeabilities, sealed intra-formationally by interbedded shales and mudstones. Sub-Miocene unconformity sandstones are also prospective where the unconformity provides a trapping mechanism. Trap style in the region is dominated by anticlinal closures adjacent to the west vergent thrusts of the Eastern Cordillera east of the La Cira-Provincia fields. Additionally, subtle rollover anticlinal traps related to NE-SW trending normal to transtensive faults that splay off the Palestina Fault provide an equally significant trapping mechanism. The early Palaeocene Lisama Formation that lies beneath the basal Eocene unconformity can also produce from superimposed folds initially formed during Eocene and subsequently refolded later, during MioPliocene deformation. 1.6 Environmental Aspects The- image mosaic is made up of six Landsat TM images. However, because of the cloud-prone nature of this region, parts of many other images have been digitally interwoven to produce the most cloud-free mosaic possible. A total of at least 10 images from a range of dates in the 1980's have been used to produce the mosaic. Because of the patchwork nature of the mosaic, using the imagery as the basis of an environmental study would be problematic due to the number and range of images. This is also complicated by the use of images from different seasons have had to be used to complete the mosaic. However, it is possible to differentiate vegetation types from the colours displayed by the 3, 5, 4 (BGR) Landsat TM band combination. Reds and brick reds show forests, while turquoise colours show grasslands. Blue to light blue colours probably show ploughed fields, or very young crops with a high proportion of soil visible contributing to the optical signature. Very dark blue to black colours represent standing water and deeper rivers. Shades of reds and pinks represent crops or cultivation in different stages of growth. As this region is almost completely vegetated, little bedrock is exposed and the red vegetation signature dominates the imagery.

2. Results: Structural interpretation The results of the study fall into 3 categories, the interpretation results, the rose diagrams and the fault reactivation plots. The rose diagrams were constructed using specially adapted TNT Mips software that measure the frequency and average line length for a pre-determined azimuth range. The same program can also filter out pre-determined azimuth ranges and colour them accordingly. The files were then combined to form the fault reactivation figures 11 to 13, while the rose diagrams are shown in figure 14. 2.1 Results of the structural interpretation The study area can be divided up into 3 major morpho-tectonic zones: The Central Cordillera; the Middle Magdalena Valley and the Eastern Cordiilera. The results of the interpretation are shown on figure 2 and summarised into the zones mentioned above in figures 8, 9 and 10. Central Cordillera The western flank of the Magdalena valley is formed by the Central Cordiliera, which consists of a Phanerozoic metamorphic sequence resting on the NW extremity of the Guyana shield (see figure 1). These sequences are covered by thin Triassic volcanics, lower to middle Mesozoic sequences and more recent, Neogene alluvial sediments that dip eastwards. In the extreme north, Neogene sediments onlap the plunge of the Central Cordillera in the Lower Magdalena Valley. The underlying Palaeozoic and Mesozoic sediments have undergone regional thermal metamorphism and are tightly folded and intruded by granitic batholiths whose origin is subduction-related. As much of the Cordillera is metamorphic, the instability of the mineralogy leads to more rapid weathering and erosion. Consequently much of the structure cannot be determined. Since the region has been metamorphosed, there is no hydrocarbon prospectivity within the successions. However, two major tectonic trends are highlighted by the faulted nature of the Cordillera. The Palestina Fault (see figures 1 and 9) is a major, north-south trending, dextral wrench fault that runs through the eastern core of the Central CordiIlera. The fault line forms an obvious topographic lineament that reflects its historic and current activity. This is best seen in the northern part of the range where there is less mountainous relief. South of the study area part pf the fault is associated with a volcanic region (e.g. Ruiz and Tolima volcanoes) that lies within a releasing bend on the Palestina Fault. In the northwest, a number of NE-SW trending faults splay off the Palestina Fault. In a dextral, simple shear domain, such faults are active as normal faults when occurring in a transtensive environment. in this case, the normal faults throw towards the SE, as recorded by seismic on the margins of the Middle Magdalena Valley, and as such could also accommodate stress imposed by the loading of the west vergent component of the Eastern Cordillera. It is probable that both stress-types operated contemporaneously, possibly at different structural levels as both the systems (orogen-parallel wrenching and thrust loading) were coeval

during the late Pliocene. The normal faults in the Middle Magdalena Valley are responsible for structurally trapping hydrocarbons t, for example, Casabe, Cantagallo or Totumal. Lying subparallel to the Palestina Fault, but further to the east, the northward extension of the Cimitarra Fault forms the normally faulted (but probably recently reactivated) boundary with the northern Middle Magdalena Valley. Between these two faults a conjugate wrench fault system can be seen although the displacement is unclear The faults have WSW-ENE and NW-SE trends and where displacement is seen it is dextral and sinistral respectively. This indicates an ESE-directed compression direction that is consistent with recent ideas of terrane accretion and arc obduction onto the NW corner of South America The rose diagrams (see figure 14) show these trends well except for the N-S trend. The volume of NW-SE and NE-SW trends dominates the frequency rose diagram, but the average line length rose shows that major N-S faults are also important within the region, illustrating the importance of the N-S Palestina Fault system. The degree to which the Palestina, Cimitarra and the conjugate cross-faults are physically interlinked is unclear, although the Cimitarra Fault seems to be linked to loading immediately to the east where it lies parallel to the thrust belt of the Eastern Cordillera. Eastern Cordillera The Eastern Cordillera forms the hanging wall of a double-sided orogen whose vergence is east directed over and above the Llanos foreland basin and west directed above the Magdalena valley basins. Within the Middle Magdalena Valley region, a two-fold morpho-tectonic subdivision (see figure 10) is possible, into an "Internal" Eastern Cordillera and an "External" Eastern Cordillera The Internal Eastern Cordillera is a predominantly crystalline Precambrian metamorphic and Palaeozoic to Mesozoic igneous complex comprising granitic and rhyolitic associations. Lying above this Guyana Shield-derived basement are Jurassic volcanics and remnants of the inverted Tablazo- Magdalena basin. Structurally, the imagery shows that the internal units are separated from the external units by the N to NNW trending Bucaramanga Fault, a late MiocenePliocene sinistral wrench fault. The igneous-metamorphic complex east of the fault has little direct influence on the petroleum prospectivity of the Middle Magdalena Valley, and is considered no further. There are however, several interesting observations about the Bucaramanga sinistral wrench fault to the east of the structure, few of the trends developed in the west are represented in the same manner: this implies that the fault may have acted as a stress barrier. Along the fault a sinistral restraining bend has developed where two strands of the fault overlap, forming a discrete pop- up. The

transpressional horses appear to be antiformal and totally fault- bound ed are true duplexes. Along strike further south and parallel to the Bucaramanga Fault, a large, open and long-wavelength anticline, composed of Precambrian-aged gneiss, lies just to the east of the main fault strand and represents a crustal-scale ramp anticline. The northern termination of the crustal-scale high coincides with the en echelon, NNE trending anticlinal horses on the restraining bend, The res1raining bend is thus also operating as an oblique thrust ramp to the crustal-scale anticline. It is interesting to note that the south-westward continuation of the oblique ramp lies directly along strike of the Casabe Fault, which runs along the Middle Magdalena Valley. That the valley swings from a N to a NNE and then N orientation in the general vicinity of the Casabe Fault may relate to a deeper, more fundamental structural control The "External Units" of the Eastern Cordillera are completely different. Triassic to Cretaceous sequences from the Tablazo-Magdalena basin are present fn the WNW-directed thrust pile in front of the Bucaramanga Fault. A1though some Triassic and early Jurassic units are smeared along the Bucararnanga Fault, the majority of the outcrop lies in the south, between the Infantas thrust, in the centre of the Middle Magdalena Valley foreland basin, and the Bucaramanga Fault (see figure 10). The structure of the external units is dominated by a broad anticline-syncline pair, the Suarez-Cobardes and the Nuevo Mundo respectively. The former is related to the Carmen-Lebrija imbricate thrust system and is cored by Upper Jurassic units, Cretaceous units forming the WNW vergent and transported forelimb The latter is carried above the Salinas Thrust, and is cored by Eocene to Miocene clastics chiefly derived from the erosion of both the Central and Eastern Cordilleras. Minor anticline-syncline pairs can be seen between the structure and the Bucaramanga Fault to the east. The anticline represents a fault-bend fold developed above a ramp-flat geornetry. The tip of the transported hangingwall wedge acts as a WNW- directed buttress that wedges beneath the Tertiary sediment. A series of thrust faults crop out between the anticline-syncline pair: one is the ESE- directed passive roof-thrust caused by the advancing hangingwall marked as a dashed line (uncertain) on the interpretation, and the others, smaller WNW- directed, minor accommodating thrusts. The structure dies out to the north, in the vicinity of the restraining bend described in the previous section, and continues southwards, towards the Dos Hermanos structure out of the study area on the south. Minor thrusts and associated folds occur ESE of the Suarez-Cobardes anticlinal axis. The wavelengths of these structures is much smaller than the latter, and are considered to be out-of-syncline thrusts that accommodate layer-parallel shortening in the hangingwall sync1ine developed ESE of the Suarez-Cobardes anticline.

Towards the foreland from the anticline-syncline pair further smaller thrusts develop. These too, have shorter wavelengths, and result from thrusts linked to the major structure to the ESE that have climbed up section into the Tertiary sequence, The thrust faults then emerge via much smaller ramps and form only a thin part of the Tertiary units. These structures are related to several oil fields along the thrust front of the Eastern Cordillera. Lying further to the WNW, longer wavelength folds are interpreted from the imagery. Although not as broad as the Suarez-Cobardes and Nuevo Mundo structures, they represent the furthest foreland extent of folding and thrusting visible from the imagery. The folding is linked to activity along the Infantas Thrust that emerges at and forms the boundary with the Magdalena Valley domain (see discussion below). Much of the structure lies beneath the sedimentary infill, but more resistant strata form rows of dipping panels that mark the structure, which involves most of the Tertiary section, but only a small amount of the more plastic upper Cretaceous section. The Cira- Infantas field is the most important accumulation in this part of the domain. The smaller wavelength folds that lie between the Infantas and Salinas structures continue northward up to and most probably link to, the Bucaramanga Fault. Towards the north, the sedimentary sequence is mostly Lower Mesozoic in age, consisting of Triassic and Jurassic volcani-clastic units with less variability and more homogeneity. Although the thrust boundary between this volcanic cluster and the Middle Magdalena Valley is evident, folding and other more subtle features are not seen. As with the entire study area, the units are intensely faulted and fractured and this is discussed further below. The rose diagrams (figure 14) show three dominant wrench fault trends, NW- SE, NNW-SSE and NNE-SSW. The commonest trend is represented by abundant but minor, relatively long NW-SE trending sinistral wrench faults developed in both the external and internal domains. Major, relatively long NNW-SSE and NNESSW trending compressionally-related faults dominate the internal and external domains respectively. This relationship illustrates the differing orientations of the central and northern components of the Eastern Cordillera: in the study area, the external units are linked to the NNE-SSW trending central Eastern Cordillera, while the internal units reflect the NNW- SSE orientation of the northern plunge of the Eastern Cordillera. Magdalena Valley Between the Central Cordillera in the west and the Eastern Cordillera in the east, the Magdalena River flows north through a flat fluvial valley There is no visible outcrop as Pleistocene to Recent sedimentation has covered any structures that may be connected to either Cordilleran tectonic phase.

However, probably as a consequence of differential compaction over buried structural highs and continuing tectonic activity, it has been possible to map lineaments formed by sudden drainage deflections, over-straightened river.. courses and valley orientations. A good proportion of these lineaments lie directly along strike of major faults (or other structures) exposed in the two flanking Cordilleras. The rose diagrams (figure 14) and the structural interpretation (figures 2 to S inclusive) show that the NW-SE trend is the most ubiquitous, but minor fault trend, followed lby, major NE-SW and NNE-SSW trending faults and lineaments. Many of the lineaments are subtle and, in places discontinuous. The relative importance of the NW-SE trending set is attributed to deformation of the post Neogene sediment by the sinistral motion along the Bucaramanga Fault. Initial activation during the Mio-Pliocene orogenic phase produced NW-SE trending sinistral faults that accommodated differential compression along the thrust-belt, overriding the incipient Magdalena Valley Basin. Reactivation of this trend during Late Pliocene to recent times has been accomplished by sinistral transpression and/or sinistral wrenching along the Bucaramanga Fault. This latest phase probably activated the existing structures, revealing them as subtle lineaments at the present erosional surface. These would form normal faults ifstress were transferred from the Bucaramanga Fault. The NE-SW trend active as a dextral wrench fault during the Mio-Pliocene was less active during the latest stages of the orogeny. It appears that the most recent motion along the Bucaramanga Fault has favoured reactivation of the NWSE trend at the expense of the WSW trend. The NNE trending element to the rose diagram relates to the folding and thrusting within the basin. Initially this would have been due to the Mio-Pliocene phase, but more recently stress from the Bucaramanga Fault may have induced a component of further compression or transpression along faults or lineaments with this orientation. The apparent suppression of minor NE-SW trends (the major faults common in the Central Cordillera, see figure 14) may be due to some form of vertical strain partitioning. The Cordillera forms the "basement" to the foreland basin formed by the west vergent Eastern Cordillera. Faults and other structures within the basement owe their origin to orogenic pulses transmitted by and along the Palestina Fault. Recent movements and stresses related to the fault may only affect the "basement'*: as this is now covered by Post Mio- Pliocene molasse shed from the Eastern Cordillera, many of the effects remain concealed. Thus, stress transferred into the valley from the presently active Bucaramanga Fault affects the Post Mio-Pliocene sequence at the present day erosion level, and stress from the Palestina Fault affects the Plio- Miocene section. However, despite this, NE to NNE trending lineaments are represented in the valley, not as many small faults and lineaments, but as longer, more subtle features. Most ta!! into a group that clearly relate to the NE trending faults in the Central Cordillera These are evident in the center of the study area and in the

north. The other important group lies in the south, where the Magdalena valley shifts its orientation to a NE trend. The linears appear to define the Casabe and Cimrnitara oil fields These features also lie close to the reported NW margin of the Tablazo Magdalena Basin and may in fact represent this or a related fault bound feature at depth The last feature of note within the Central Valley is a complex circular anomaly formed by a series of deflected river channels The rivers flow from east to west and take semi circular detours around the buried obstacle. Comparison with seismic data in this region shows the presence of a low amplitude, long wavelength high directly beneath the surface at this locality. Having interpreted this structure, others were looked for, but with little success 2.2 Fault reactivation plots and structural summary To reconstruct the possible key tectonic environments that existed from the Maastrichtian to Recent (i.e. Holocene) time, a series of fault reactivation plots were made. The four structural domains and subdomains (see previous section) were separated into distinct units, as were major and standard faults. As each domain became "active" a structural template is applied to the faults and lineaments according to their orientation. Faults that change orientation are coloured according to their azimuth in sections so that several fault styles may exist along its strike. Three temporal snapshots were chosen to record the Tertiary history, which are outlined below. Maastrichfian to Palaeocene oblique collision At this time only the major faults in the Central Cordillera were put through the template, as the Magdalena valley and the Eastern Cordillera did not exist in their present form. A simple shear model of dextral shear sense was applied. The fault activity of the components in the cordillera is shown in figure 10. The other, mature faults are shown as grey for reference. Whether strain partitioning operated at this time, concentrating fault activity just to the Central Cordillera and not in the NW margin of the Tablazo-Magdalena basin, is not known: it is possible that the episode produced inversion on the basin margins, but that this is unresolvable due to subsequent tectonic process. This tectonic phase records the accretion and obduction of magmatic terranes further to the west, and the initial change from an extensional history to a dominantly cornpressional and transpressional history.

Miiddle Eocene to late Mio-Pliocene east and then west-directed compression Reactivation of the Central Cordillera from a transpressional to a more o less oblique compressional mode occurred during the Paleogene-Neogene. Figure 11 shows that the entire region was affected, but this is an over-simplification: the Central Cordillera and the (now buried) Magdalena valley were affected by east directed compression prior to west-directed compression during the Mio-Pliocene which, affected the entire region (subject to the vertical strain partitioning mentioned in the previous section). A pure shear compression model with an approximate E-W compression direction was used to compute the strain template at this time. Many of the NW-SE.and NE-SW lineaments and faults were active on conjugate sinistral and dextral wrench faults respectively. North trending structures suffered folding and thrusting, while E-W structures may have undergone some extension to accommodate some of the compressional stress. These phases record first the reactivation of the Central Cordillera and second, the inversion of the Tablazo-Magdalena basin. The western margin of the basin was uplifted, thrust and emplaced towards the west above the Middle Magdalena Valley, while the eastern margin was similarly deformed but transported eastwards over the Llanos foreland basin, further to the east. Pliocene to Recent oblique collision The most recent major phase of reactivation occurred in latest Pliocene time and continues up to the present day. -During the latest Pliocene, the Bucaramanga Fault took up much of the stress in the east and developed into a major NNWSSE trending sinistral wrench fault. At roughly the same time or slightly later, renewed dextral transpression affected the Palestina Fault in the Central Cordillera. With this structural setting, it is possible that the Middle Magdalena Valley was squeezed out towards the south, as both major wrench faults have opposite wrench fault motions, which dictate a southern motion for the region between. This scenario is adequate1y depicted in figure 13, which shows how the system may work in an opposing dextral- sinistral simple shear environment. This phase (or phases) record the final episodes of the "Andean" orogeny. As many of the compressional structures locked up, the continuing compressional stress field was accommodated by orogen parallel strike-slip. Due to the complex tectonic setting in NW South America, wrench systems with both sinistral and dextral motions developed.

3. Conclusions
The mapping exercise has enabled the definition of three morpho-tectonic or structural domains, the Central Cordillera, the Middle Magdalena Valley and the Eastern Cordillera, which can be subdivided into "external" and "internal" units. The structural style of each has been studied and described using the imagery, seismic and seismically derived data and geological maps. The distribution and orientation of different structural trends has been recorded by the construction of rose diagrams for each domain. In the Central Cordillera, the most ubiquitous trends are NE-SW, NW-SE and N-S, in decreasing order of abundance. The N-S trend and, to a lesser extent, the NE-SW trend produce faults that are longer and probably more active in the recent past. The Magdalena Valley domain is dominated by minor NW-SE trends at the surface, but by major NE-SW and N-S trends at depth. This may have been caused by vertical strain partitioning: the post-Miocene sedimentary section was preferentially deformed by stresses transferred from the Eastern Cordillera and the pre-Miocen'e section was deformed by the preceding tectonic phase that deformed the Central Cordillera. Additionally, the valley may have been squeezed south during the most recent tectonism because of the opposing motion along the Palestrina and Bucaramanga faults. The Eastern Cordillera, is dominated by major NNE-SSW and minor NW- SE trends in the "external" sub-domain and major NNW-SSE and minor NW-SE trends in the internal sub-domain. This reflects the swing of the orogen from NNE in the centre to NNW in the north. Minor NW-SE trending sinistral wrench faults are numerous, but their conjugate partner, WSW-ENE trending dextral wrench faults are under-represented.

The set of fault reactivation maps produced illustrates how various tectonic phases deformed the region and how the faults present may have been reactivated at four intervals in time. From this study it seems that the faults would have had a complex history as the region evolved through transpressive, compressive and finally further transpressive stress that is still being driven by convergence and consumption of the Cocos Plate in the west. Early discussions about the project scope concerned the use of radar data to bring out structural detail in the flat Magdalena valley domain. However, the optical Landsat TM data has provided much information on this domain: the use and expense of costly radar data should not be required for further structural detail. However, should an up-to-date environmental audit or survey be required, radar data with a fine resolution would be most suitable.