Energy resources of the Caribbean region
The Caribbean region comprises all of Central America, much of Colombia and Venezuela, and the Greater and Lesser Antilles, including their Atlantic shelves and slopes. Peripherally, it encompasses the YucatÃ¡n Peninsula, interior basins of Colombia and Venezuela, and the Bahamas and southern Florida. The Caribbean Sea constitutes almost half of the 8.5 million km2 area.
Petroleum is by far the principal energy resource of the region. Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Cuba, Guatemala, and Barbados produce petroleum commercially, but only the first three are self sufficient and net exporters. There is minor potential in the Bahamas, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and PanamÃ¡.
Commercial deposits of coal are known only in Colombia, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. Other resources, in order of utilization, are hydropower, geothermal, biomass, wind, and solar. There is minor potential for uranium-thorium deposits in Venezuela, Colombia, and Nuclear Central America. Ocean temperature gradients offer unlimited energy to islands, particularly those with near-shore deep water. A distant-future potential major resource is gas hydrates on the Pacific continental slopes of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and PanamÃ¡ and the continental borderlands of Colombia and Venezuela.
Figures & Tables
The result of a major international effort involving authors and organizations from 13 countries, this volume summarizes the complex geology and tectonic evolution of the Caribbean plate and its relation to the adjacent North American, South American, Nazca, and Cocos plates. Focuses on regional geology and geophysics, magmatic processes, neotectonic features, geologic hazards, and energy and metallic resources. Contrasting views for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic geological evolution are presented in chapters on plate tectonics and mantle surge tectonics. Chapters on marine geology and geophysics are new syntheses for the entire Caribbean region. Highlights of the volume include extensive bibliographies and new syntheses of stratigraphic-lithologic columnar sections, seismicity, gravity and magnetic anomalies, neotectonic features, resource data, and crustal properties.