The independent countries of the continent are Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago.</li></li></ul><li>Geography of S. America<br />South America can be divided into 5 physiographic divisions. They are as follows:<br />The Andes<br />Brazilian Highlands<br />Guiana Highlands<br />The Amazon basin<br />The Deserts<br />
The Andes:<br /><ul><li> Run from NW Venezuela to the southern tip of Tierra Del Fuego.
The mountain was formed by the subduction of the Pacific plate beneath South American plate.
It is the world’s longest and second highest mountain range.
The length of the mountain range is 7000 km and the width is 500 km approximately
It is a fold mountain </li></li></ul><li><ul><li> The highest point of the mountain range is Mt. Aconcagua, which is 6962 m high.
The Andes is divided into three sub regions. They are:
Central– Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia (altiplano)
Southern– defines the border between Chile & Argentina (South of Santiago the mountains are lower)
There are several important cities situated within the Andean region. They are Bagota, Santiago, Cusco, La Paz, Merida & Quito.</li></li></ul><li>Lake Titicaca<br /><ul><li>Lake Titicaca is a mountainous lake found in the border of Peru & Bolivia.
By volume it is the largest lake of the continent.
It is the highest commercially navigable lake of the world.
There are 42 islands in the lake and some if which are densely populated.
It serves as an inland drainage for about 27 local rivers.</li></li></ul><li>The Brazilian Highlands<br /><ul><li> It is of the most important physiographical region of the continent, occupying an area of about 5,000,000 sq. km.
The highland is also know as Brazilian Plateau.
The entire plateau is made up of basaltic lava. However the present landscapes are the product of intense erosional activities.
The NE and SW extension of the highland measures 3500 km.
The highest point of the plateau is Pico da Bandeira (2891 m)
The entire highland falls inside the country of Brazil.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li> The plateau is often divided into three parts:
Atlantic Plateau: The most densely populated area of the highland.
Southern Plateau: the region is covered with tropical rainforest. Part of it consists of fertile soil, which is also knows as purple land.
The Central Plateau : Majority of the area is under grassland.
The NE corner of the plateau is known as Plateau of Borborema and the western section if the highland is called Plateau of Mato Grosso.</li></li></ul><li>Guiana Highlands<br /><ul><li>It occupies the area of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Apart from these countries, a part of it with Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
The shield is made up of Greenstone, Quartzite, Sandstone, Conglomerate and Shale.
The highland is classified into three regional groups. They are:
Guiana Highland Proper (Venezuela) Mt. Roraima (2810 m)
The Tumuc-Humuc Mountains (Guyana & Suriname) Juliana Top (1280 m)