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Coastal and Marine Geology Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coasts of Colombia

Coasts of Colombia

Coasts of Colombia
Pacific Coast:
Introduction
Serranía del Baudó (Baudó Range)
Cabo Corrientes-
Togoromá
San Juan River Delta
Málaga Bay - Buenaventura Bay
Buenaventura Bay - Guapi
Patía River Delta
Tumaco Bay
Mira River Delta
Gorgona Island
Malpelo Island
References
Caribbean Coast:
Introduction
Guajira Peninsula Coast
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Coast
Magdalena River delta and Santa Marta lagoon complex
Barranquilla - Cartagena coast
Southern Caribbean coast
Gulf of Urabá
References
Project Contact:
Robert Morton

Caribbean Coast: Guajira Peninsula coast

The Guajira Peninsula (Fig. 2) is a main morphostructural element consisting of tectonically raised blocks of metamorphic, granitic, and sedimentary rocks (Jurassic to Tertiary in age), adjacent to sedimentary basins, and grabens filled with Tertiary limestones, cherts, and claystones (Robertson 1998). The Quaternary of the Guajira Peninsula is mainly represented by extensive colluvial-alluvial deposits, and recent sandy barriers and marine lagoons.

The Guajira Peninsula coastline from Castilletes (Gulf of Maracaibo) to Dibulla is about 280 km long (Fig. 3). Spits, bars, and lagoons predominate along the internal shore of the Gulf of Maracaibo, whereas narrow beaches and cliffs are dominant along the Bahia Honda-Cabo de la Vela shore (Fig. 4).

Landsat image of the Guajira Península.
Figure 3. Landsat image of the Guajira Península. Reproduced by permission of Invemar.

Aerial view of Cabo de la Vela.
Figure 4. Aerial view of Cabo de la Vela, showing 5- to 10-m-high cliff terraces cut into serpentinitic rocks and covered by small dunes and a veneer of wind-transported sand. Reproduced by permission of Diego Zapata.

South of Cabo de La Vela, the Guajira Peninsula coast is dominated by narrow beaches, minor deltaic accumulations, and spit-lagoon segments near the mouths of the primary coastal rivers (Fig. 5). These coastal-plain deposits are located seaward of extensive erosional platforms cut into Tertiary mudstones.

View to the north of beaches at Riohacha.
Figure 5. View to the north of beaches at Riohacha. Photo by I. Correa.

Coastal and Marine Geology Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coasts of Colombia

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