Venezuela Relief Part II

By | December 16, 2021

The eastern section of the Caribbean Mountains is also made up of two ranges, but the southern one (Sierra de Cumaná) is the highest and widest, reaching 2010 m. in Turumiquire south of Cumaná; it is mainly formed by limestone and sandstone; the karst phenomenon is widespread in the limestones. The northern chain, crystalline, does not exceed 1200 m. Here too, between one chain and another, there is a depressed area, partly invaded by the sea, which forms the two gulfs of Cariaco and Paria, which identify the two long and narrow peninsulas of Araya and Paria. A deep groove affects this northern coastal chain behind Carupano, allowing for easy communications towards the interior. Remains of another mountain range, the northernmost of the Caribbean Mountains, largely submerged, are the islands facing the Venetian coast: Tortuga, Margarita, Cubagua, Coche, Los Frailes, Los Testigos. Margarita (990 sq km), which is 38 km away. from the coast of the Peninsula of Araya, it is made up of mica schists, quartzites, eruptive rocks and Cenozoic limestones, and consists of two mountainous nuclei (in the western the M. Macanao rises to 1366 m., in the eastern M. Copei at 1269 m.) covered by xerophilous scrubs (the climate is rather arid), connected by a wide sandy band at one point only 45 m. and 3 meters high, south of which opens a lagoon that communicates with the sea by a short channel. Tortuga has 220 sq km. of surface. eruptive rocks and Cenozoic limestone, and made up of two mountainous nuclei (in the west the M. Macanao rises to 1366 m., in the east the M. Copei to 1269 m.) covered by xerophilous scrubs (the climate is rather arid), connected by a wide sandy strip at one point only 45 m. and 3 meters high, south of which opens a lagoon that communicates with the sea by a short channel. Tortuga has 220 sq km. of surface. eruptive rocks and Cenozoic limestone, and made up of two mountainous nuclei (in the west the M. Macanao rises to 1366 m., in the east the M. Copei to 1269 m.) covered by xerophilous scrubs (the climate is rather arid), connected by a wide sandy strip at one point only 45 m. and 3 meters high, south of which opens a lagoon that communicates with the sea by a short channel. Tortuga has 220 sq km. of surface. For Venezuela travel information, please check zipcodesexplorer.com.

Due to the proximity of the mountains to the coast, on which they descend for long and very steep stretches, as we have seen, the low coastal region cannot have much development. It is estimated that it covers an area slightly higher than that of central Italy (80,000 sq. Km.), Almost entirely due to the oil-producing lowlands of Zulia, which surround Lake Maracaibo. The Maracaibo basin opens up between the Sierra de Perija and the Cordillera de Mérida; the floods brought by the numerous watercourses descending from these mountains have built the lowlands reducing the surface of the lake; to the north of this lies the wide Gulf of Maracaibo between the peninsulas of Goajira and Paraguana. Another important low-lying coastal area is that of Yaracuy.

A third of the surface of the entire country is made up of the llanos, a series of immense alluvial plains that extend to the south of the mountainous region (300,000 sq km, just under the surface of Italy). The llanos at the foot of the mountain ranges (Llanos altos) are located no more than 300m. on the sea; they slowly decline south and east. Ancient marine gulf (such it was still in the Cenozoic), this region is formed superficially to the west by the floods of the Andean watercourses (conglomerates, muds, clays), which are sometimes arranged to form like natural dams (bancos), and to the east, mainly from sandstones and conglomerates. The primitive surface had to be flat, level; but then the fluvial erosion exerted by the Orinoco and its numerous tributaries divided it, especially to the west, in a complex of more or less vast shelves, limited by escarpments (mesas); the bancos and mesas prevent the appearance of most of the llanos is uniform and monotonous. However, there are some stretches where it is difficult to understand what the slope of the ground is, where nothing limits the immense horizon, where the prairie is without visible borders.

The savannah is the predominant plant formation in the llanos, but also in terms of vegetation, differences are observed between one part and the other according to the humidity of the soil. There are areas, such as those south of the Sierra de Cumaná, sheltered from the trade winds, completely arid, deserted; other areas, usually on the outskirts, are covered with forests. The savannah is dotted with palm trees, isolated or in groups. Vast tracts of the Llanos bajos (low) are flooded by the Orinoco and its tributaries in the rainy season. The Orinoco flows right at the southern limit between them and the Guiana plateau, and has formed at its mouth a delta as wide as Sicily (25,000 sq km), which begins at over 200 km. from the sea, on which it has a front, between the Boca de Navios and the Bay of Vagre, of 300 km. The soil of the delta, of gray mud, is mostly covered by tropical forests which on one side are connected with those of Guiana, and on the other go as far as the Sierra de Cumaná, the llanos of Maturín and the southern slope of the Peninsula of Paria.

About half of the Venetian territory is given by the Guiana plateau, a still little known forest region, formed by ancient crystalline zones (gneiss, granites, crystalline schists) covered by a thick blanket of Cenozoic sandstones in horizontal layers, which erosion has divided into tabular blocks, which descend towards the valley floor with very steep and often sheer slopes. The region is crossed by numerous right tributaries of the Orinoco (Ventuari, Caura, Paragua, Caroní), which are not navigable because they are bumpy by series of waterfalls and rapids. They usually originate in the highest area of ​​the plateau, on the border with Brazil, in which the highest peak is Cerro Roraima (2630 m.), At the eastern end of the Sierra Pacaraima. The Roraima, like many other Guianese reliefs, it is a tabular mountain made of sandstone, bounded by steep sides, indeed largely by cliffs. In front of the point where the Casiquiare leaves the Orinoco, it rises to 2390 m. the Cerro Duida, recently studied by the North American Tyler Duida Expedition, which is also a tabular-topped block of sandstone.

The territory of Venezuela has no volcanoes. The whole northern part of the mountains is subject to violent tectonic earthquakes: the main seismic centers are Mérida, Trujillo, Maracaibo, Coro, Tocuyo, Caracas, Cumaná, Cariaco and Carúpano. Particularly disastrous were the Cumaná earthquakes of the years 1530, 1766, 1797 and 1839; the one, described by Humboldt, who destroyed Caracas on March 26, 1812, where about 12,000 people perished, and seriously damaged La Guaira, Puerto Cabello, Valencia, Barquisimeto and Mérida; and that of Trujillo of 1886.

Venezuela Relief Part II