The Andes Mountains Tiana Yarbrough Professor Arguello History 28
Geography The world’s largest continental mountain range Lies along the western coast of South America Ranges over 4,300 mi long, 120-430 mi wide, and has an average height of 13,000 ft. Highest mountain range outside of Asia Highest peak: Aconcagua (22,841 ft) Extends over seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela
Geography Andes divided into 3 sections: Southern Andes in Angentina and Chile Cental Andes in Chilean and Peruvian Cordilleras and parts of Bolivia Northern Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador In Colombia, Andes split in to three parallel ranges: Cordillera occidental, central y oriental
Volcanoes A belt of mountains along The Ring of Fire: A zone of volcanic activity Andes contain many active volcanoes; all distributed into four sections, separated by areas of inactivity:
Northern Volcanic Zone: Southern Colombia and Equador
Central Volcanic Zone: Southern Peru, Bolivia, and Northern Chile and Argentina
Southern Volcanic Group: Central Chile to the Chile Triple Junction
- Austral Volcanic Zone: South of Chile Triple Junction
Geology East of the Andes lie several sedimentary basins such as Orinoco, Amazon Basin, Madre de dios, and Grand Chaco Separates Andes from ancient cratons of eastern South America West of mountain range lies the Pacific Ocean Submerged peaks off the coast of Venezuela make up the Caribbean Islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.
Climate Climate varies and depends on location, altitude and proximity of the sea. The Southern Section is rainy and cool Central Andes are typically dry Northern Range is rainy and warm Average temp in Colombia is 64 degrees F Andes of Chile and Argentina divided into two climatic and glaciological zones: the Dry Andes and the Wet Andes Climate is known to drastically change in short distances Rainforests exist miles away from snow covered peaks
Flora Rainforests once encircled much of the Northern Andes, but now have been greatly diminished. Only 10% of original woodland remains due to modern clearance. 30,000 species of Vascular plants live in the Andes Many plants used for medicinal purposes Cinchona pubescens is a small tree used to treat malaria Tobacco and Potatoes originated from the Andes High-altitude polylepis forests and woodlands found in Andean areas of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile These trees can be found at altitudes of 14,760 ft above sea level.
Fauna Very rich in Fauna; nearly 1,000 different species and 2/3 of them endemic to the region The most important region in the world for amphibians Animal diversity is high: 30,000 species of vascular plants, 1,000 amphibians, 600 species of mammals, 1,700 species of birds, 600 reptiles, and 400 different kinds of fish
Agriculture Ancient people (Incas) practiced irrigation 6,000 years ago Because of the mountain slopes, terracing is quite common Potatoes and Maize hold an important role in widely consumed staple crops Tobacco, coffee, and cotton are the leading export crops of today Coca an important crop for legal local use in mildly stimulating herbal teas Also used for the production of cocaine