Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 575–584 | Cite as

Seismic reflection-based evidence of a transfer zone between the Wagner and Consag basins: implications for defining the structural geometry of the northern Gulf of California

  • Mario González-EscobarEmail author
  • Francisco Suárez-Vidal
  • José Antonio Hernández-Pérez
  • Arturo Martín-Barajas


This study examines the structural characteristics of the northern Gulf of California by processing and interpreting ca. 415 km of two-dimensional multi-channel seismic reflection lines (data property of Petróleos Mexicanos PEMEX) collected in the vicinity of the border between the Wagner and Consag basins. The two basins appear to be a link between the Delfín Superior Basin to the south, and the Cerro Prieto Basin to the north in the Mexicali-Imperial Valley along the Pacific–North America plate boundary. The seismic data are consistent with existing knowledge of four main structures (master faults) in the region, i.e., the Percebo, Santa María, Consag Sur, and Wagner Sur faults. The Wagner and Consag basins are delimited to the east by the Wagner Sur Fault, and to the west by the Consag Sur Fault. The Percebo Fault borders the western margin of the modern Wagner Basin depocenter, and is oriented N10°W, dipping (on average) ∼40° to the northeast. The trace of the Santa María Fault located in the Wagner Basin strikes N19°W, dipping ∼40° to the west. The Consag Sur Fault is oriented N14°W, and dips ∼42° to the east over a distance of 21 km. To the east of the study area, the Wagner Sur Fault almost parallels the Consag Sur Fault over a distance of ∼86 km, and is oriented N10°W with an average dip of 59° to the east. Moreover, the data provide new evidence that the Wagner Fault is discontinuous between the two basins, and that its structure is more complex than previously reported. A structural high separates the northern Consag Basin from the southern Wagner Basin, comprising several secondary faults oriented NE oblique to the main faults of N–S direction. These could represent a zone of accommodation, or transfer zone, where extension could be transferred from the Wagner to the Consag Basin, or vice versa. This area shows no acoustic basement and/or intrusive body, which is consistent with existing gravimetric and magnetic data for the region.


Seismic Reflection Seismic Section Structural High Transfer Zone Seismic Reflection Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are indebted to CONACYT, México for financial support through scholarships, to PEMEX Exploración y Producción for allowing the use of seismic data, and to LandMark™ for the use of their software through the University Grant Program to CICESE, Baja California. We are grateful to J. Stock, C. Plattner, and an anonymous reviewer for comments leading to an improved manuscript. We thank Sergio Arregui for technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario González-Escobar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francisco Suárez-Vidal
    • 1
  • José Antonio Hernández-Pérez
    • 1
  • Arturo Martín-Barajas
    • 1
  1. 1.División de Ciencias de la TierraCentro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE)EnsenadaMexico

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