Coastlines have a unique feature when it comes to defining their lengths because they keep deforming and reshaping like a fractal. Although they behave like fractals, the measurements of coastlines are in terms of length. Some countries have long coastlines while others have short ones. South America for example, is the fourth largest continent with an area of about 17,840,000 square kilometers and countries with different lengths of coastlines. Here is a description of South American countries by the length of their coastlines.
South American Countries with the Longest Coastlines
The longest coastline in South America is that of Brazil, which has a length of 7,941 kilometers. The coastline is alongside the Atlantic Ocean and is famous for receiving a large number of tourists as well as its islands, bays, and reefs.
Chile is ranked the second South American country with a coastline of 6,435 kilometers long. It is on the south of the continent and it borders the Pacific Ocean and parts of Atlantic Ocean.
Argentina is densely populated and has been ranked as the 32nd most populated country globally it is also believed to be South America's second largest country after Brazil. Argentina has an area of about 2.7 million square kilometers, and its coastline is the third longest in South America with a length of 4,989 kilometers.
Colombia has the fourth longest coastline with a length of 3,208 kilometers. Its population has an uneven distribution, and it has a tropical rainforest on the southern regions.
The fifth longest coastline in South America is that of Venezuela which is 2,800 kilometers long. The country is situated on the north coast of its continent, and it covers an area of about 912,050 square kilometers.
On the western coast of South America is Peru, a country facing the Pacific Ocean and has the sixth longest coastline. The length of its coastline is approximately 2,414 kilometers long.
Ecuador is bordered to the north by Colombia and to the East and South by Peru. The country has the seventh longest coastline, 2,237 kilometers long, on the west side of Pacific Ocean.
The country that comes on the eighth position in the list is Guyana with a coastline of 459 kilometers long. Guyana covers an area of about 214,969 kilometers.
Natural Hazards and Changes in South American Coastlines
Natural hazards that are bound to affect South America's coastlines include earthquakes and tsunamis since the Pacific Ocean is considered tectonic. El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) causes different effects in different regions of the South American coast. For instance, in Colombia when sea level rises there is a change in island barrier whereas in Peru ENSOs cause the sudden existence of sediments on the coast. There is also the movement of dunes in Brazil due to dry situations because of the ENSO. South America's population has tended to settle near the coastlines, and as a result, it has made erosion easier and severe because of different human activities that take place near the coastal region.