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south america

Major Landforms


In short, the Amazon Basin (Amazonia) is covered by the largest tropical rain forest in the world, and running through its heart is the Amazon River, and its more than 1,000 tributaries, seven of them more than 1,000 miles in length. Measurable rain falls on an average of 200 days a year, and total rainfall often approaches 100 inches per year.

The overall basin drains over 2,700,000 sq. miles, and covers about one-third of the South American landmass. Rising high in the Andes, the river's network irrigates almost half of the continent, and in terms of volume of water discharged into an ocean... it's the largest in the world.

This toothy-edged, massive mountain system extends from the tip of South America all the way to Panama. It's the source of most major rivers on the continent and is 4,500 miles (7,240 km) in length. It's home to some of the planet's largest volcanoes, and in the far south along the coast of Chile, large ice sheets are commonplace.

The Andes and its many ranges include dozens of peaks that reach over 20,000 ft., with the highest point being Aconcagua in Argentina, at 22,384 ft. (6,960m).

Sparsely populated and running high into the Andes of Chile, this somewhat small desert (or plateau) is a cold place and rainfall is very rare.

It's approximately 100 miles wide and 625 miles long. The landscape is totally barren and covered with small borax lakes, lava flow remnants and saline deposits.

This highland region - about 800 miles in length - runs through the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Goias, Bahia and Sao Paulo in southeastern Brazil. The magnificent landscape includes varied mountain ranges, namely the Serra de Mantiquiera, Serra do Paranapiataba, Serra Geral, and Serra do Mar.

The estimated highest point is 7,368 ft (2,245m).

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South America Landforms, Rivers in South America, Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountains

A geographically stunning part of Planet Earth, over 1,000 miles in length, the Highlands stretch from southern Venezuela across the northern edge of South America to the tip of Brazil.

It consists of a vast plateau, one marked by deep gorges, tropical rain forests, numerous rivers and waterfalls. It's famed for the highest waterfall in the world (Angel Falls) at 3,212 ft (979m) high.

The highest point is Mt. Roraima on the borders of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela at 9,219 ft (2,810m).

This large and very fertile plain, located in eastern and central Colombia, and central and southern Venezuela, is drained by the Orinoco River and its many tributaries. It's approximately 225,000 sq. miles (582,000 sq. km) in size.

Famed for its many cattle ranches, this large plain in the southern part of the continent (in central Argentina) extends for almost 1,000 miles (1,600 km), and covers 294,000 sq. miles (761,460 sq km).

Located between the Andes and the Atlantic Ocean, and about 1,000 miles in length, Patagonia stretches south from the Rio Negro River in southern Argentina to Tierra del Fuego and the Strait of Magellan. It's mostly rugged, barren land, famed for its beauty and striking scenery.



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