The Barra de São João Graben (BSJG), shallow water Campos Basin, is part of the Cenozoic rift system that runs parallel to the Brazilian continental margin. This system was formed in an event that caused the reactivation of the main Precambrian shear zones of southeastern Brazil in the Paleocene. We proposed a new structural framework of BSJG based on gravity data interpretation. Magnetic data, one available 2D seismic line, and a density well-log of a nearby well were used as constraints to our interpretation. To estimate the top of the basement structure, we separated the gravity effects of deep sources from the shallow basement (residual anomaly). Then, we performed a 2D modeling exercise, in which we kept fixed the basement topography and the density of the sediments, to estimate the density of the basement rocks. Next, we inverted the residual anomaly to recover the depth to the top of the basement. This interpretation strategy allowed the identification of a complex structural framework with three main fault systems: a northeast–southwest-trending normal fault system, a northwest–southeast-trending transfer fault system, and an east–west-trending transfer fault system. These trends divided the graben into several internal highs and lows. Our interpretation was corroborated by the magnetic anomalies. The existence of ultradense and strongly magnetized elongated bodies in the basement was interpreted as ophiolite bodies that were probably obducted by the time of the shutdown of the Proterozoic Adamastor Ocean.
- Received January 14, 2014.
- Revision received May 5, 2014.
- Accepted July 24, 2014.