Earth Sciences Research Journal
versão impressa ISSN 1794-6190
CHICANGANA, GERMAN. THE ROMERAL FAULT SYSTEM: A SHEAR AND DEFORMED EXTINCT SUBDUCTION ZONE BETWEEN OCEANIC AND CONTINENTAL LITHOSPHERES IN NORTHWESTERN SOUTH AMERICA . Earth Sci. Res. J. [online]. 2005, vol.9, n.1, pp. 50-64. ISSN 1794-6190.
The Romeral Fault System (RFS) extends 1600 km from Barranquilla-Colombia to Talara city-Peru and before the Pliocene. In the Middle Eocene RFS defi ned the northwestern border of the South America plate, being originated by a triple junction rift - rift - rift occurred from lower to middle Jurassic, when the South American sector separated from Chortis , Oaxaca and Yucatan blocks. From Late Mesozoic until Early Paleocene, the Paleo Pacifi c plate converged on NW South America corner being subducted when an anomalous thick oceanic crust, represented by the Caribbean plate, was accreted extinguishing gradually from the North of Peru to the North of Colombia. The collision generated a transtensive fi eld stress in back arc region, due to the ancestral Central Cordillera rising in continental border. The RFS rocks suffered low grade metamorphism and some rocks of extinct subduction zone suffered metamorphic inversion. During Late Paleogene until Early Miocene, the convergence South America , Farallon and North America plates produced clockwise rotation in Caribbean Plate, which moved to NE producing a dextral displacement in the suture, generating big milonyte belts in the RFS rocks. With the Farallon Plate break, in the Middle Miocene, due to Galapagos triple junction activation, the Caribbean plate moved to the NNE colliding with the south of the North American plate, being trapped between South and North American plates. This caused the Costa Rica-Panama-Choco block (CRCB) collision with the NW of South America plate, deforming the north of the Northern Andes generating a change in the convergence of Nazca plate in this sector. From Late Pliocene, when convergence change fi nish, Carnegie Ridge collision in the south of NW South America confi guring the actual lithosphere geometry and the orogenic styles of the Northern Andes . Based on Petrogenetic correlations supported by interpretation of secondary sources in geology, tectonic, petrogenesis and geophysics, a model for a regional seismotectonic characterization of this zone was done. The deformed zone represents an extinct subduction zone including fore arc basin rocks with fragments of a Lower - Late Cretaceous volcanic arc and some continental fragments of South America plate. I conclude that RFS is a weak rheologic area and a lithosphere contrast between a thick oceanic and the continental crust, presenting a high seismological activity with historically great earthquakes in Colombia and Ecuador.
Palavras-chave : Romeral Fault System; Geodynamic; Caribbean Plate; Lithosphere Delamination; Seismotectonics.