7 junio, 2024

Relief of Venezuela: what it is, main regions

What is the relief of Venezuela?

He relief of Venezuela it is characterized by high-elevation mountains that form the highest peaks in the country in the north. Descending slowly to the south, some valleys are formed until reaching the Venezuelan plains, where many rivers flow, mainly the Orinoco River, which stands out for forming a delta.

In the extreme east and sharing the border with Brazil and Guyana, there is a set of abrupt plateaus.

Venezuela is located in the northern part of South America, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana. To the south it limits with Brazil and Colombia. The country is one of the former Spanish colonies that later, in the 19th century, formed part of Greater Colombia (along with Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Colombia) and finally became independent from the latter in 1830.

The country is geographically divided into three main regions, which are subdivided into others: the Andes mountain range (located in the north, very close to the Venezuelan coast), the Orinoco basin (located to the south and runs from the Colombian Andes to the Orinoco delta) and the Planalto de las Guyanas (located to the south and southeast of the Orinoco basin and sharing a border with Brazil and Guyana).

Venezuela is very close to the equator line and, therefore, its climate is hot, humid and with forests rich in biodiversity.

Main regions of the Venezuelan relief

Venezuela has three large geographical units that extend throughout the country. Each geographic unit has its own characteristics, and they are:

1. Andes Mountains / Mountain Coast Region

The Andes is the mountain range that runs through South America from south to north: it is the longest mountain range in the world and one of the youngest mountain formations on the globe.

In the case of the Venezuelan Andes, it is the most prominent orographic accident in the country. It was formed in the Tertiary Era and covers an area of ​​36,120 km² (6% of the national territory).

It penetrates from the west because it is the extension of the Colombian eastern mountain range. It includes the states of Mérida, Trujillo, Táchira and the Alto Apure District.

Upon reaching Venezuela, the range splits into two mountain ranges: the Sierra de Perijá and the Mérida range, both of which run from the Táchira Depression in the southwest to the northeast in the Barquisimeto-Acarigua Depression.

The highest point in Venezuela is the Bolívar peak, with 4,980 meters above sea level.

Sierra Perija

It is the western chain. It is located west of Zulia state and borders Colombia. Its greatest height is 3,750 meters above sea level.

This region is sparsely populated and lives on livestock and the dairy industry.

Merida Mountain Range

It is located to the east of the Zulia Depression (subregion in which there are important oil basins) and crosses the states of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo.

The Venezuelan relief reaches its highest elevations here with perennial snow on the tops, finding the Bolívar peak (4,980 m), the Humboldt (4,924 m) and Bonpland (4,882 m) peaks. The other lower ones are the León (4,743 m) and Toro (4,695 m) peaks.

The lands are optimal for agriculture, but the crops vary according to the altitude of the mountains.

There is an intermediate region between the Region of the Venezuelan Andes and that of the Orinoco basin, called corian system.

corian system

Also called Lara-Falcón-Yaracuy Formation. This is the area of ​​the parallel sierras of San Luis, Buena Vista, Matatere, Bobare and Aroa, in which valleys with agricultural power extend in the states of Lara and Falcón.

The only relief in the region are the sand dunes of the Los Medános de Coro National Park, which reach a maximum altitude of 21 meters above sea level.

It is a transition area between the Andean mountains of Trujillo and the Cordillera de la Costa. The rains are scarce, as is the humidity.

2. Orinoco Basin/Llanos with the deltaic plain

Descending to the south from the northern mountainous region of the country, the extensive alluvial plain of the Orinoco deltas appears, which extends about 32,000 km² until it rises in the Planalto of the Guyanas.

It constitutes approximately 35% of the national territory. It includes the states of Apure, Barinas, Portuguesa, Cojedes, Monagas and Anzoátegui.

The Orinoco Oil Belt is made up of the aforementioned states, excluding Portugal, with an oil-rich subsoil that positions Venezuela as the country with the largest oil reserves in the world.

The terrain is formed by fluvial sediments drained by the Orinoco River, and is characterized by being swampy, the result of the sea that once covered the plain.

Because of this geological phenomenon, the region offers the best conditions for the development of agriculture and extensive livestock.

The rainy season causes flooding, while the dry seasons often cause water shortages.

The plains region is divided into three: central, eastern and western plains.

3. Plateau of the Guyanas / Guayana Region / the Gran Sabana

It is the largest natural region in the country, extending 240,528 km² and oldest of all, being formed from the Precambrian (Archaeozoic or Archaic era). The most popular subregion is the Gran Sabana.

It covers Bolívar state and the Casiquiare peneplain, Amazonas state, Guayana Esequiba and part of Delta Amacuro.

The highest mountains are the Neblina peak (2,994 m), the Phelps peak (2,992 m) and the mount or tepuy Roraima (2,810 m).

The land is rich in metallic and non-metallic minerals (including bauxite), a factor that has stimulated mining-electric activity. It is the mining region par excellence.

In the geological formation of Roraima, in the southeast of the country, tepuis abound, abrupt plateaus with flat tops, among which Auyantepuy stands out, home to the Canaima National Park, where Angel Falls, the highest waterfall, is located. in the world, with its 979 meters of free fall.


The Tepuis. Recovered from ecured.cu.
Angel jump. Recovered from venezuelatuya.com.

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