The Sinú-San Jacinto-Lower Magdalena Valley special area covers parts of three tectonic provinces identified from east to west as Lower Magdalena Valley Basin, San Jacinto Fold Belt and Sinú Fold Belt, covering an approximate area of 46 300 km2. Tectonically these provinces have a quite different geological history and structural style.
Lower Magdalena Valley is a basin with extensional tectonic derived from transtension, with the plays identified corresponding to compresional folds, reservoir truncations by faulting, reservoir onlapping against basement and basement highs. San Jacinto Folded Belt is characterized by transpresional tectonics that generates thick skin inverse faulting with plays identified corresponding to compresional folds, reservoir truncations by faulting and locally channels fills in incision valleys.
Finally, Sinú Fold Belt is a product of structural and tectonic processes not very clear; affected by deep mud diapirism. The plays identified are folds associated with early stages of mud diapirs formation that do not disrupt completely the sequence, reservoir truncation against diapirs and sindepositional unconformities.