Caribbean Geography

The Caribbean is a region in the western, tropical part of the Atlantic Ocean north of the equator. It consists of the Caribbean Sea and the islands and island groups there, the Caribbean Islands. (West Indies). The Caribbean is for the people of the Caribbean named, which the Spanish conquerors Lesser Antilles had found. It was or is also called the West India, because when it was discovered it was believed to be a direct sea route to India. Visit countryaah for a full list of countries in Caribbean.

Geography and geology

According to the delimitation of the International Hydrographic Organization, the arched islands of the Caribbean lie within the Caribbean Sea. This forms a rectangle from the Yucatán peninsula to northern South America. In addition, the second largest reef system in the world is located off the Belizean coast: the Belize Barrier Reef. The highest point in the Caribbean is the Pico Duarte with 3,098 m in the Dominican Republic.

The Caribbean Sea is in turn part of the American Mediterranean and reaches a depth of 7,680 m in the Cayman Trench. It is mainly located on the Caribbean plate, only the northwest part beyond the deep-sea trench is on the North American plate. Earthquakes and occasionally volcanic eruptions occur repeatedly due to tectonic activities at the plate boundaries. In 1995, after several eruptions of the Soufrière, the capital of Montserrat, Plymouth, had to go, after around 8,000 people had fled. The last major quake occurred in Haiti in 2010, killing an estimated 300,000 people.


In general, there is a tropical rainforest climate and thus a time of day climate with average temperatures above 20 ° C. In addition, the Gulf Stream, which drifts into Europe, has its origin in the Bahamas. The designation over / under the wind of the Antilles indicates the influence of the northeast trade winds. Another natural phenomenon are emerging or passing hurricanes, which regularly damage z. B. caused by flooding.


The resident animal species include the Caribbean manatee, the Caribbean lobster and iguanas. Other species such as the Caribbean shrews have already become extinct due to anthropogenic influence. Due to the export-oriented cultivation of cash crops (traditionally e.g. sugar cane) on monoculture plantations, native plant species such as the mangroves have been strongly pushed back. Many of the soils are of volcanic origin and have different fertility.


An agglomeration – from Latin agglomerare “ firmly connect ”, (synonymous also: English larger urban zone and largely synonymous in German: conurbation, urban region or agglomeration) – describes a concentration of settlements consisting of several, mutually intertwined communities, which are opposite to their surroundings characterized by a higher settlement density and a higher proportion of settlement area.

As a rule, an agglomeration is grouped around one or more core cities, which are surrounded by a narrower, densely built-up suburban suburban belt and a geographically more extensive, partly rural catchment area. Major cities and their extensive catchment area form metropolitan regions, the area of ​​which is usually larger than that of the agglomeration in them.

The term regiopole is also used for metropolitan areas with a regional focus outside of metropolises, the surrounding area is called the regiopole region.

Depending on whether one or more regional centers exist in an agglomeration, a distinction is made between monocentric and polycentric agglomerations.

The tendency towards regional dispersion of the settlement in the surrounding area of ​​agglomerations is called deglomeration or suburbanization, the dissolution of agglomerations is called deagglomeration.

According to the UN definition of 1998, an agglomeration is a core city including its suburban surrounding area or the at least densely populated surrounding area that lies outside the city limits but is directly adjacent to them. Such an agglomeration consists of one or more cities and their suburban communities, which form the agglomeration belt (so-called bacon belt). The agglomeration thus corresponds to the “city” in a purely geographical sense, without taking administrative boundaries into account.

Other common names for such an area are urban region and metropolitan area / metropolitan area. Although these terms essentially refer to the same thing, there are small nuances of meaning depending on how they are interpreted. In contrast to the broader terms of the greater region, metropolitan region or economic region, the urban region does not include the rural, peripheral sub-areas, but only the immediate, densely built-up area around the city center. But also settlements that are not directly adjacent to the core city can be counted as part of the urban region if the majority of the residents work in the core city.

The criteria according to which figures are calculated for all of these terms ultimately depends on the delimitation method used in each case. There is no reliable standardization for these procedures, which is why the figures for different regions are only partially comparable.

Caribbean Geography