Rio de Janeiro: A Metropolis Between Granite-Gneiss Massifs

  • Nelson F. Fernandes
  • Miguel Tupinambá
  • Claudio L. Mello
  • Maria Naíse O. de Peixoto


The city of Rio de Janeiro is well-known for its outstanding landscape, particularly the several steep rocky domes that emerge close to the coast. Such a wonderful scene results from a combination of differential weathering controlled by the presence of a variety of Neoproterozoic gneisses and Cambrian granites and strong valley incision along subvertical faults and fractures. In this chapter we present the geological and geomorphological aspects that influence the daily life of more than 12 million inhabitants of the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan region, in two areas around Guanabara Bay: Coastal Massifs and the Serra dos Órgãos escarpment. The combination of such topographic constraints, intense summer rainstorms, and dense occupation frequently creates a scenario with a high potential for landslide-derived hazards.


Differential weathering Guanabara Bay landscape evolution landslides Sugar Loaf 



The authors would like to thank Katia Mansur and DRM-Departamento de Recursos Minerais/RJ (Department of Mineral Resources of Rio de Janeiro State) for allowing the use of material from posters (Tupinambá and Medeiros 2005, Valeriano and Koga 2006) of the Geological Trails Project. The main objective of this project is to popularize geological science by implementation of interpretative posters in the main geological monuments of the state (see We also thank Ricardo Azoury, Carla Madureira Cruz, André Teixeira, William de Moura, J. R. Couto and Luiz Claudio Marigo who allowed us to use their photographs and images in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nelson F. Fernandes
    • 1
  • Miguel Tupinambá
    • 2
  • Claudio L. Mello
    • 1
  • Maria Naíse O. de Peixoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Regional GeologyRio de Janeiro State UniversityRio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro

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