Abstract

The present work describes a geomorpholopic evaluation of the Burica peninsula, during 9 days in January 2008. Coastal geomorphology, erosion and depositional zones were evaluated between punta Banco and punta El Mangle. The most important morphologies found were structural origin morphologies, represented by active tectonic deformation, produced by the Panamá Fracture Zone, and the subduction of the Cocos ridge. The structural origin morphologies identified were, structural-denudational zones which dominate the study area, homocline in the south of the peninsula and structural terraces, that are observed easily between punta El Mangle and La Peña, and in punta Banco. Other morphologies were identified, such as marine, fluvial and denudational morphologies. The marine-origin morphologies include the beach, subdivided in subareas, separated due to the waves dynamic, the cliffs, that dominate the area between La Peña river and punta Banco, and the shore platforms in the area between punta El Mangle and La Peña. The denudational morphology is represented by landslides, which area present mainly in the cliffs. In the other hand, the fluvial origin morphologies, include La Peña, Peñita, Caña Blanca and Coco mouths and the floodplain of La Peña river. Intense erosional, slight to moderate erosional, sedimentational, and erosion and sedimentational zones were identified, having a great importance the coastal erosion, especially observed in the central and south of the peninsula. Considering the results and the interaction of them, the main hazards found are landslides, coastal erosion and the high seismicity of the area, which should be taken into account and studied in detail for a proper planning of the rural development.

 
Keywords: Burica Peninsula, coastal geomorphology, natural hazards, structural morphology, denudational morphology, fluvial morphology.