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UTIG - Southeast Caribbean Cruise

Broadband Onshore-offshore Lithosphere Investigation of Venezuela and the Antilles arc Region

The Caribbean-South American plate boundary is a transpressional zone bounded by the Lesser Antilles subduction zone to the east and the Pacific margin trench to the west.  A transpressional boundary is characterized by strike-slip and compressional thrust faulting. The Caribbean plate is overriding the Atlantic seafloor of the South American plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone near Trinidad. In the west, the Caribbean plate is plunging beneath South America. 


The BOLIVAR project is a multi-disciplinary investigation to examine how island arcs, marginal basins, and oceanic plateaus become attached (accrete) to continents. Specifically, the project will investigate arc-continent collision and accretion, high pressure-low temperature (HP/LT) rock exhumation, and the development of folded belts and sedimentary basins along the Caribbean-South American Plate boundary zone. We selected northern South America as the site for this study because the Caribbean arc-South America continent collision process has occurred in a steady, west-to-east direction and is actively occurring today in easternmost Venezuela and Trinidad.

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