Venezuela Morphology

Venezuela Morphology

Venezuela borders the Caribbean Sea and the open Atlantic Ocean to the north, Colombia to the west, Brazil to the south and Guyana to the east. The two northern foothills of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, the Sierra de Perijá moving north (up to 3 750 m above sea level) and the north-east branching cordillera from Mérida (in Pico Bolívar 4,981 m above sea level) frame with the one in front of it to the north, in The mountains of Coro (up to 1,500 m above sea level) in the northwest, a former bay with Lake Maracaibo, are divided into chains and basinsthan the rest of this bay. The Cordillera of Mérida continues east of Barquisimeto in the coastal double strand of the Caribbean Coastal Cordillera (in Pico de Naiguatá 2 765 m above sea level).

Isla Margarita is the largest of the islands off the Caribbean coast. The Llanos in the central part of Venezuela take up around a third of the country’s area. They are extensively flooded on the lower reaches of the western Orinocon tributaries during the rainy season. South of the Orinoco is the old massif of the Guayana mountainous region, towering over the table mountains (in the Roraima 2,810 m above sea level; Canaima National Park with the Angelfall as a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

In the extreme south, Venezuela has a share of the Amazon lowlands. The main stream is the Orinoco(2 140 km), the largest inland lake, the Lago de Valencia (350 km 2).


According to harvardshoes, the landscape of Venezuela is varied and discontinuous, as the territory is made up of sections characterized by a different development of geological events. They range from the mountain ranges, with peaks even over 5000 m, which are part of the Andean system, to the wide depression occupied by Lake Maracaibo, from the undulations of the peneplanate surface of the Precambrian shield of Guayana to the flat and monotonous expanses of the lowland between the Andean ranges and the Guayana massif (Macizo de Guayana). There are therefore both areas of recent formation, involved in the complex events of the Andean orogeny and whose settlement is not yet definitive, as evidenced by the intense seismic activity, is very ancient areas, already emerged in the Precambrian.

Overall, the Venezuelan territory can be divided into three fundamental sections: to the W and NW a mountainous region forming part of the Andean system, in the center the succession of vast plains (llanos) of the continental lowland crossed by the left tributaries of the major river of Venezuela, the Orinoco, and to the SE a large penepian, the oldest area of ​​Venezuela, belonging precisely to the Guayana shield. The Venezuelan Andes constitute the northeastern appendage of the great Andean system, which here thins and dismembers into several minor ranges. The erection of these took place gradually: the first orogenetic phases date back to the end of the Paleozoic, but the most important ones followed one another starting from the end of the Cretaceous, with a maximum during the Pliocene and the Pleistocene, when the uprisings of powerful Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary seriesand the ascent of large intrusive masses of granite nature, such as that of Pico Bolívar, which with its 5007 m of height is the highest Venezuelan peak.

The two main mountain alignments are the Sierra de Perijá, along the border with Colombia, and the Cordillera de Mérida (Cordillera di Mérida), in which the Pico Bolívar rises and which extends in the SW-NE direction, and then continues towards the E with the name of Cordillera della Costa. Between the Sierra de Perijá and the Cordillera de Mérida there is a depression, over 70,000 km² wide and largely submerged by the waters of Lake Maracaibo: it is the remnant of a larger marine gulf partially filled by the floods of the watercourses coming from from the surrounding hills. This depression is set in a subsident basin, invaded several times by the sea, filled with both marine and continental sediments for a total power exceeding 5,000 m and in which numerous hydrocarbon deposits have formed. The region of the llanos it is over 300,000 km² wide, ie approx. 35% of the Venezuelan territory: flat and monotonous, this lowland structurally corresponds to a tectonic subsidence established between the Andean orogenetic belt and the Guayana massif. Powerful Cenozoic and Neozoic floods, deposited by the Orinoco and its tributaries, gradually filled what was a large marine gulf during the Cenozoic era; still today the Orinoco and its tributaries deposit enormous quantities of floods, in particular sands, on the llanos (the vast river delta is progressing steadily at a rate of about 45 m per year). Beyond the course of the Orinoco there is the third great Venezuelan region, deeply engraved by the right tributaries of the river. It is a large penepiano, on average 600-700 m high, of crystalline and sedimentary rocks, often deeply metamorphosed, largely dating back to the Precambrian; in the southern part it is partially covered by sedimentary formations and by Mesozoic crystalline intrusions. The plateau reaches its highest altitudes in the Pico da Neblina (3014 m), on the border with Brazil, and in Roraima (2875 m); always on the edge with Brazil runs the long Sierra de Pacaraima, which overlooks the Amazonian lowland. The coasts are low and marshy to the W, between the peninsulas of Guajira and di Paraguaná, while to the E of the latter they gradually become straight and elevated due to the lengthening of the Cordillera de la Costa parallel to the coast. Following the submersion movement that occurred in the Pliocene, marginal folds of the coastal cordillera gave rise to the characteristic double peninsula of Araya and Paria and to island formations, including Margarita Island.

Venezuela Morphology

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