ABSTRACT: Erlich, et al.

Robert Erlich1, James Pindell2, and Leon Dzou3
1Cayo Energy L.P., 1007 Deerfield Rd., Richmond, Texas 77406 
2Tectonic Analysis Inc., Chestnut House, Burton Park, West Sussex GU28 0LH, U.K. 
3BP America Exploration, 501 Westlake Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77079

Petroleum Potential of the Florida-Cuba-Bahamas Collision Zone

Caribbean and Colombia Exploration (GRBCC, Grand Ballroom C)
Monday, September 21, 2015, 8:35 am

The stratigraphic and structural evolution of the Florida-Cuba-Bahamas collision zone has historically been highly generalized when incorporated into plate tectonic models. Recent integration of publicly accessible well, seismic, and geochemical data has led to a better understanding of the paleogeographic history and petroleum potential of the area.

Structural deformation and lithologic units within the collision zone have been described previously but bear repeating here. The area can be partitioned into three distinct zones:

  • a southerly zone from southern to central Cuba, which can be characterized by arc and back-arc collapse features and is dominated by basic igneous rocks;
  • a central zone extending from central Cuba to the Florida-Cuba-Bahamas coastal zone, characterized by highly duplexed arc, fore-arc, and Bahamian passive margin rocks; and,
  • a northerly foreland zone located between Cuba and Florida and the Bahamas, characterized by longer wavelength, lower amplitude fault-bend folds, hanging-wall anticlines, and normal faults, involving only Bahamian passive margin rocks.

Deformation within the collision zone continued until the Late Eocene and strongly influenced the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the region.