The physiographic expression of the El Pilar Fault zone in northeastern Venezuela continues offshore beneath the Gulf of Barcelona along the axis of the Cariaco Basin. This expression consists of a trench on the basin axis that continues west from the Gulf of Cariaco to a point south
of the east end of Tortuga where it is offset to the northwest until it reaches a point east of the shoreline of the Coastal Cordillera. At this site the trench again strikes to the west. The sedimentary fill of the trench is growth faulted, down to the trench center, in the configuration
of a graben. Refraction seismic and magnetic measurements indicate that the core of the seaward rim of the Cariaco Basin consists of igneous or metamorphic rocks at relatively shallow depths (1.5 km or less). Although the seaward continuation of the El Pilar Fault is established, the amount
of postulated strike-slip movement on this fault remains unresolved.
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