Honduras Morphology

Honduras Morphology and Geology

As a whole, three quarters of the territory of the republic is made up of mountains and hilly areas; more or less narrow are the coastal selvedges and the alluvial areas along the major rivers, both assuming the greatest width on the Atlantic side, where the coastline, rather regular, reveals the recent arrangement of the landfill materials in different stages development from section to section (deltations, peninsular overhangs, lagoons and relict lakes).

According to Localcollegeexplorer, the whole country can be divided into two regions morphologically and anthropologically quite different, assuming as a dividing line the long median depression that runs from the Gulf of Honduras, with NS direction, to the Bay of Fonseca. This depression, which in all probability corresponds to a sinking of tectonic origin, is, like the whole Isthmian region, clearly asymmetrical: while towards the Atlantic the drainage takes place through the long corridor crossed by the Humuya and the Ulúa, a at noon the waters descend rapidly from the watershed area (Rancho Chiquito) to the Gulf of Fonseca in the Río Goascorán valley. The asymmetry is somewhat reduced to E., where the Río Grande (or Choluteca) pushes its springs almost to the center of the town, but, except for this short strip.

More than in the geological conditions, the two large zones differ in the orographic and morphological ones, as the blanket of recent volcanic depositions is widely diffused in both of them, which, in varying degrees and with different power, masks the most ancient formations constituting the backbone of the relief. To the west a triple mountainous alignment finds place on the two sides of Ulúa; the most northerly, which is also the most continuous, runs sharply from the SW. NE., consisting of the Sierras of Grita, Espiritu Santo and Omoa (3133 m.), which find their continuation, beyond the median furrow, in the small crystalline-basaltic archipelago of the Bahía Islands (Utila, Roatán, Guanaja). On the right of the Ulúa, the limestone groups that dominate the upper Sensenti valley (Sierra de Merendón, 2200 m.) are faced, to S., by a series of more rugged reliefs, in which the eruptive cover, which wraps a powerful schistose-crystalline base, is fragmented into clods arranged from NW. to SE.: emerges above all the bulk of Cerro Selaque, which with its 2800 m. it represents the highest peak of the republic. This whole region to the West is characterized by a very rough terrain: the valley furrows that cut into the mountain masses alternate against the wooded background of the high slopes the exuberant richness of a vegetation made even more varied by the intervention of man. To the tobacco fields and to the cafetales that cover the plateaus of Ocotepeque and Copán, contrasts, towards the SE., the expanse of cereal crops at the foot of the Sierra de Opalaca, while in the vicinity of the Atlantic tropical forests, coniferous forests and banana and sugar cane plantations and cocoa spread a thick fringe of green beyond the desolate patches of savannahs. A place in itself, in this area, is to be done in the small karst strip at the center of which is Lake Yojoa (about twenty km long, about eight wide), the largest in the Republic; this territory which, like others more in E., seems suitable above all for breeding and through which now passes the only communication route that links the regions of the N. to the Pacific side.

Much wider, eastern Honduras is however much less known, especially in the lower border area with Nicaragua and on the last wooded slopes that shower the major rivers, where semi-primitive Indian tribes that have been able to find, in the isolation of the country, a sufficient defense against the invasion of the conquerors. In the rest, the region is made up of several bands of uplift, in which granite and shale of the Precambric age emerge, arranged almost parallel to the coast and divided from each other by wide valley corridors (Sierra de Pija, 2450 m.). Large surfaces are covered at the top by magnificent tropical forests and coniferous forests; as you move away from the ocean, however, decreasing humidity, the vegetation tends to become less rich and luxuriant, to the point of taking on aspects reminiscent of those of arid areas. However, the greater part of the country lends itself well to breeding, which in fact finds development in the districts of Juticalpa and Catacamas, while further to the South., along the Nicaraguan border, the relief returns to become harsh and decisive, forming in the M. di Chili, Dipilto and Colón, a serious obstacle to communications between the adjacent Patuca and Segovia valleys. This whole area, and more the one facing the Pacific, is very rich in mineral deposits. (contact metamorphism), especially in correspondence with the elevated group of Mt San Juancito (2280 m.), near Tegucigalpa and in the nearby Sierras of Lepaterique and Yuscarán.

Honduras Morphology