Amphibians and Reptiles of the Rainforests of Southern El Petén, Guatemala

by William Edward Duellman
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Publisher: Kbook

Publication Date: April 19, 2017

ISBN: 1230001646535

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Immediately south of Chinajá is a range of hills, the Serrania de Chinajá, having an almost due east-west axis and a crest of about 600 meters above sea level. South of the Serrania de Chinajá are succeedingly higher ridges building up to the Meseta de Cobán and Sierra de Pocolha and eventually to the main Guatemalan highlands. The northern face of the Serrania de Chinajá is a fault scarp dropping abruptly from about 650 meters at the crest to about 140 meters at the base. From the base of the Serrania de Chinajá northward to the Río de la Pasión at Sayaxché the terrain is gently rolling and has a total relief of about 50 meters. North of the Río de la Pasión is a low dome reaching an elevation of 170 meters at La Libertad; see Stuart (1935:12) for further discussion of the physiography of central El Petén. The rocks in southern El Petén are predominately Miocene marine limestones; there are occasional pockets of Pliocene deposits. There is little evidence of subterranean solution at Chinajá, but northward in central El Petén karsting is common. The upper few inches of soil is humus rich in organic matter; below this is clay.