Saturday, September 13, 2014

South America Continent Brief Geographical Features

South America is the fourth largest continent after Asia, Africa and North America.

It is also known as ‘Continent of Birds’.

South America is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the north.

The Andes Mountains, which lies parallel to the western side of the continent, forms the largest mountain chain in the world.

The Amazon River occupies a large depression in the Earth’s Crust, formed by the uplift of the Andes.

The Amazon Basin in the largest area of the tropical evergreen forests in the world. These tropical evergreen forests are known as ‘Selvas’

Amazon and its tributaries, Parana, Orinoco and Sao Francisco are the main rivers of South America.

The immense Brazilian Shield underlines more than one-third of South America. It is pitted with numerous volcanic intrusions and a  large basaltic plateau exists between the Parana River and the Atlantic Ocean.

It includes the Easter Islands, the Falkland Islands, the Galapagos Islands and the Tierra del Fuego.

Tropical conditions are found across over half of South America, when both rainfall and temperatures are high, hot humid rainforest prevail.

Chile’s hyper-arid Atacama Desert is renowned as one of the driest place on Earth.

Mild winter and Cold summers typify the extensive Pampas grasslands of Argentina.

Most of the settlers here come from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal).

There are fourteen countries in this continent. Most of the population of this continent lives in urban centres and the cities are located along the coastal areas.

Perched high in the Andes like many of the cities in western South America, La Paz in Bolivia is the world’s highest capital city at over 11,500 ft (3500m).

Lima’s magnificent cathedral reflects South America’s colonial past with its unmistakably Spanish style. In July 1821, Peru became the last Spanish colony on the mainland to declare independence.

In April 1960, Brazil’s government began the move from Rio-de Janeiro to Brazilia, a futuristic new
city built in the sparsely populated interior. Brazilia is now the federal capital of Brazil.

Over a quarter of the world’s known copper reserves are found at the Chuquicamata mine in northern Chile.

Argentina is a major world producer of Beef, much of which is exported to the U.S.A. for use in humburgers.

South America and Brazil in particular, now leads the world in the coffee production, mainly growing coffee Arabica in large plantation.

Lake Maracaibo is not a true lake but a shallow inlet of the Caribbean Sea, it is the main source of Venezuela’s oil.

Angel Falls (Salto Angol), at 3212 ft (979m), is the world’s highest waterfall.

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