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Basin Formation Along the Southern South Atlantic Margin

South Atlantic Basins Research Symposium Presentation
AAPG Distinguished Lecture

Authors: Juan Lovecchio (presenter), Sébastien Rohais, Philippe Joseph, Néstor Bolatti, Víctor A. Ramos, YPF

The opening of the South Atlantic in the Early Cretaceous was the final stage of the complex Mesozoic rifting history of SW Gondwana. In this contribution we reassess the chronology of Mesozoic basin formation in southern South America (Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil) and its African conjugate and integrate it into the long-term breakup history of SW Gondwana. Triassic rifting, triggered by an absolute displacement of Gondwana to the NE and counter-clockwise rotation, is characterized by intracontinental rifting in Africa (Karoo I phase) and retro-arc extension on the SW-margin of Gondwana.In the Early Jurassic, the Karoo plume triggered rifting in Eastern Africa, producing the Karoo II basins and the Colorado and Salado basins on the Argentinean shelf. The East African rifting ultimately lead to breakup of Eastern from Western Gondwana in the Middle Jurassic. In the Patagonian retro-arc, the Austral-Malvinas and other basins formed in association with the synextensional emplacement of the Chon Aike magmatic province. In the Late Jurassic the Rocas Verdes back-arc basin opened in southern Patagonia, while oblique rifting in the core of the Late Paleozoic Gondwanides orogen produced the Outeniqua and Rawson/Valdés basins. The South Atlantic Rift initiated in the mid Valanginian (Early Cretaceous), with diachronous rifting starting in the previously thinned Rawson/Valdés-Outeniqua segment progressing northwards. North of the Colorado-Cape fracture zones, rifting and profuse SDR emplacement throughout the Late Valanginian-Hauterivian moved progressively to the north, along different rift segments separated by fracture zones and producing strongly asymmetric conjugate volcanic margins.


Juan Pablo Lovecchio, YPF

Juan Pablo is geologist graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. He holds a Master's degree in Petroleum Geoscience from the IFP School, France, and a PhD from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and Sorbonne University, Paris. He has 12 years of experience in the industry.

He started his career in Pluspetrol (2008-2010) and Total (2011), he then joined YPF in 2012 where he currently is Senior Exploration Geologist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, responsible for regional geology, and play and project assessment.

He is an active member of several professional Associations and currently he is President of the AAGGP (Argentine Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists), Secretary of AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region, and AGA YPF Delegate.

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