Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Caribbean Coasts, Panama to Belize

  • Anja Scheffers
  • Tony Browne
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_42


The Caribbean coasts of Central America extend for about 2,200 km from the Atrato lowlands in northwestern Colombia to Tehuantepec in Mexico. The geology of Central America is complex. Two large areas of different tectonic history and geological structure have been recognized: namely the Isthmian Link from NW Colombia to southern Nicaragua and Nuclear Central America, from southern Nicaragua to SE Mexico.

The Isthmian Link (Weyl 1980; Dengo 1985) has a basement of Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous age, which consists mainly of basalts with associated radiolarites and clastic sedimentary rocks. The basement is overlain by thick volcano-clastic rocks of Late Cretaceous to Pliocene age, with some interbedded limestones. The prevailing structures are parallel to the geographical shape of the isthmus.

South of the mountains of Guatemala the metamorphic basement is covered by Mesozoic sedimentary rocks: Upper Triassic (in Honduras), Jurassic sediment and Cretaceous carbonates and...


Coral Reef Great Barrier Reef Beach Sand Beach Ridge Caribbean Coast 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anja Scheffers
    • 1
  • Tony Browne
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Cross University Australia