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Investigaciones geográficas

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7279versión impresa ISSN 0188-4611


HERNANDEZ SANTANA, José Ramón; SEGUINOT BARBOSA, José  y  REYES GONZALEZ, Ramiro. Puerto Rico and Culebra Islands: geomorphological features of the coastal and submarine relief. Invest. Geog [online]. 2002, n.47, pp.7-19. ISSN 2448-7279.

The littoral s morphodynamic survey, its correlation with the main tectonic designs and the coastal morphc-structural analysis of Puerto Rico, and especially of the Culebra island, allowed to differentiate and assess the significant influence of island tectogénesis upon the configuration of geomorphological patterns at the land-sea interface as well as its submarine surroundings. The major tectogenetic peculiarities of island morphostructure and its littoral morpho-sculpture include: the morphotectonic alignment of small groups of islands as well as their internal morpho-sculptural features; the appearance and alignment of abrasive rock outcrop ranges; the littoral's parallel and interrupted alignment; the tectonic control of the coastal configuration and its accidents derived from the orthogonal design of the prevailing NW-SE and NE-SW diagonal disjunctive systems; tombolos development by faulting parallel to the coastline and uprising of small contiguous island blacks; ample distribution of microbays and microinlets generated by a high faulting density and parallel transversal cracking, the diffusion of concave shell-shaped coasts of a cumulative and biogenic nature between discreet abrasive projections; and the presence of alternating horst and graben systems as a conditioning factor for the alternation of abrasive (ends, capes and promontories) and cumulative coasts (beaches, marshes and mangroves) or inlets and bays. This latter features is unique and determinant in coastal morpho-dynamics at western Puerto Rico and the Northern coast of Culebra island. Separately, this work includes the structural-geomorphic pattern of submarine relief of seas and oceans surrounding the Puerto Rico island, derived from the evolution of the major and most characteristic elements of the northern Caribbean's earth crust. The principles of its typological classification differentiate the major structures within which morphogenetic complexes develop. At the submerged edges of the North American and oceanic Caribbean continental plates the major categories of submarine relief (island platform and slope, depressions and deep trenches) are characterized using the morphological, genetic and hypsometrical features of the different morphogenetic complexes (plains, plateaus and mountain ranges) of marine and oceanic basins, and these are shown in a structural-geomorphic map.

Palabras llave : Marine geomorphology; littoral forms; submarine relief.

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