Does the Caribbean hold lessons for SE Asia? Part 1: The geology of Trinidad

WG 48(3) cover.pdf
Author : Harry Doust
Publication : Warta Geologi
Page : 147–152
Volume Number : 48
Year : 2022

Warta Geologi, Vol.
48, No. 3, December 2022, pp. 147–152

Does the Caribbean hold lessons for SE Asia? Part 1: The geology of Trinidad

Harry Doust

Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam 1081 HV, the Netherlands

Author email address:


Abstract: Together with a second note (Warta Geologi, April 2023) I summarise the geological development of the island of Trinidad and the adjacent margins of the Caribbean Sea in order to compare them with parts of Southeast Asia. I believe the two provinces provide valuable analogues for each other and I illustrate this by considering examples of tectonic style taken from transpressional fold belts in Trinidad and eastern Java, from the evolution of foreland- and wrench basin stratigraphy and from striking similarities between the stratigraphy and structure of Borneo and Trinidad Tertiary continent margin deltas.


Keywords: Geological evolution, Trinidad, Java, transpression, Borneo, deltas



Bolli, H.M., Beckmann, J.P., & Saunders, J.B., 2005. Benthic foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the South Caribbean region. Cambridge University Press, UK. 420 p.

Bolli, H.M., Saunders, J.B., & Perch-Nielsen, K., 2007. Plankton stratigraphy, volume 1 and 2. Cambridge University Press, UK. 608 p.

Cross, N.E., Zana K. Williams, Arman Jamankulov, Candice E. Bostic, Valini C. Gayadeen, Helisaul J. Torrealba, & Elizabeth S. Drayton, 2015. The dynamic behaviour of shallow marine reservoirs; insights from the Pliocene of offshore North Trinidad. Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geols. Bull., 99, 555-583.

Giuseppe Giunta, & Silvia Orioli, 2011. The Caribbean Plate evolution: Trying to resolve a very complicated tectonic puzzle. In: Evgenii V. Sharkov (Ed.), New frontiers in tectonic research – General problems, sedimentary basins and island arcs. IntechOpen, London. 368 p.

Kugler, H., 1996. Treatise on the geology of Trinidad. Natural History Museum of Basel, Basel.

Kugler, H.G., 2001. Treatise on the geology of Trinidad: Paleocene to Holocene Formations. Edited by H.M. Bolli & Knappertsbusch, M. Natural History Museum Basel, Birkhäuser Verlag Basel. 309 p

Leonard, R., 1983. Geology and hydrocarbon accumulations, Columbus Basin, offshore Trinidad. AAPG Bulletin, 67(7), 1081-1093.

Metcalfe, I., 2011. Palaeozoic–Mesozoic history of SE Asia. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 355, 7 – 35.

Rohr, G.M., 1991. Exploration potential of Trinidad and Tobago. Jl Petr. Geol., 14(3), 343-354.

Wood, L.J., 2000. Chronostratigraphy and tectonostratigraphy of the Columbus Basin, eastern offshore Trinidad. AAPG Bull., 84(12), 1905-1928.


Manuscript received 28 May 2022;

Received in revised form 5 December 2022;

Accepted 6 December 2022

Available online 30 December 2022


0126-5539; 2682-7549 / Published by the Geological Society of Malaysia.

© 2022 by the Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License 4.0