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South America Physical Geography.

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Presentation on theme: "South America Physical Geography."— Presentation transcript:

1 South America Physical Geography

2 Land - Desert Atacama Desert Located in northern Chile
4,000 feet above sea level Driest non-Arctic desert in the world 1 mm of rain per year Average daily temperature is from 32º-68º F Similar to the surface of Mars – NASA uses the Atacama to test instruments for future Mars missions

3 Land – Andes Mountains Andes Mountains
Run along the Pacific Coast – located primarily in Chile Longest mountain chain in the world (4,500 miles) 2nd highest mountain ranges in the world (Himalayas are #1) Soil is extremely rich and fertile, good for farming

4 Land – Amazon Basin Amazon River Basin
Contains the largest tropical rainforest in the world Located mostly in Brazil Framed by other landforms Basin A large area completely surrounded by higher ground (similar to a valley) Selva The Brazilian term for the Amazon Basin (covered in thick tropical forests)

5 Land - Highlands Brazilian Highlands
Rolling lands east of the Andes Mountains Guiana and Brazilian Highlands Brazilian Highlands Largest highland area in South America (tropical savanna) South of the Amazon River Basin and extends east into Central Brazil Escarpment A steep cliff between a higher and lower surface

6 Land - Patagonia Patagonia
Large area of plains located in southern Argentina Northern region dry and mild, southern region dry & cold

7 Land South America has two countries that are landlocked
Bolivia and Paraguay Landlocked Surrounded on all sides by land with no access to the ocean How does this affect trade in these countries?

8 Water - Borders East – Atlantic Ocean West – Pacific Ocean
North – Caribbean Sea

9 Water - Lakes Lake Titicaca = Andes Mountains
Border of Bolivia and Peru Highest commercially navigable lake in the world

10 Water - Rivers Amazon River
2nd longest river in the world (largest in volume) (4,000 miles long) – (Nile River is #1) Carries more water than any other river in the world Extends from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean (across the entire continent) Contains 20% of all fresh water in the world More than 1,000 tributaries extend from the Amazon River Tributaries – smaller river that flow into a larger river Located primarily in Brazil Serves as a major trade route inland and creates fertile land


12 Water - Rivers Negro River (Rio Negro)
Largest left tributary of the Amazon Largest black water river in the world Deep, slow-moving channel that flows through forested swamps and wetlands. The color results from the leaching of tannins from the decaying leaves of adjoining vegetation. Has its sources along the watershed between the Orinoco and the Amazon basins

13 Climate Varies greatly because of the size of the continent (8 zones)
Climate based on region Most of South America has a tropical climate Highlands in the mountains Arid and semiarid in the deserts Elevation is important in the mountains Vertical climate Varies greatly because of the size of the continent (8 zones) Below 0º in the Andes and over 80º in the Amazon Basin Receives over 118” of rain in the Amazon Basin each year


15 Vegetation Most of South America is covered by dense rainforests and grasslands Vegetation in the mountains depends on elevation

16 Natural Resources Lumber from the rainforests Fish Cattle ranches
Medicines are created from the rainforest Fish extensive coastlines Cattle ranches Soil is rich for farming Coffee Brazil is the leading exporter Wheat, sugar cane, cotton and rice

17 Agricultural Resources
Most people practice subsistence farming Large farms are able to produce goods for export Beef, grain, sugar, wool, bananas and coffee Brazil – largest produce of coffee in the world

18 Population Distribution & Trade

19 Valuable Venezuela Location, climate and natural resources affect where people live and work. Physical Features . . . Coastline gives them easy access to trade with others 4 major port cities Mountains, grassy plains & tropical jungles Climate in Venezuela . . . Hot and humid – just north of the equator Cooler in the Andes Mountains Rainy season from May to November Along the coastline in per year Higher elevations Over 100 in per year Major natural resource Oil

20 Where do people choose to live?
Along the coast of the Caribbean Sea and nearby mountain valleys Mostly urban areas – 88% The best farmland is controlled by large landowners . . Prevents many people from farming have to move to the cities to find work. Many people work in the rich oil industry. 90% of government income from exports comes from oil 50% of all government money comes from oil Government has used the money to improve roads, telephone networks, and provide healthcare to the poor Large middle class – but also large amounts of poverty 75% of population works in the service sector

21 What’s happening in Brazil?
Brazil is the largest country on South America Highest population Healthiest economy Physical Features HUGE coastline major ports increase trade Mostly low elevation except for a mountain range along the eastern coast Central area Amazon Rainforest Covers 2/3 of the country Climate Warm and humid Equator runs through the northern part of the country Temperatures are mild in the southern part of Brazil

22 Where do people choose to live?
Most live near the Atlantic coast in urban areas . . . 85% in cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro 80% live within 200 miles of the coast Southeastern Brazil also has a large amount of resources . . . Farmland – coffee, oranges, papayas, soybeans Only the USA exports more farm products than Brazil Natural resources – iron ore Amazon Rainforest used to be sparsely populated, BUT . . . Government built the Trans-Amazon Highway to connect the coast to Peru. New capital – Brasilia – was established just south of the Amazon Basin Tourism to the Amazon Rainforest has also increased Development in the Amazon is controversial WHY? Most important trading partner USA

23 I’ll Trade with You! Venezuela . . . .
Oil products are the government’s main source of revenue Major trading partners are its neighbors USA, Brazil and Colombia USA provides much of Venezuela’s food imports since agriculture isn’t a strong industry there.

24 Brazil . . . Key location along the Atlantic Ocean . . .
Allows shipment of goods around the world Top 2 trading partners USA and Argentina Agricultural Products . . . Sugarcane and oranges Coffee – world’s largest producer Natural Resources . . . Iron ore – produces steel to make cars, trucks and other goods in Brazilian factories near the iron ore deposits

25 Environmental Issues Oil-related pollution – Venezuela
Water pollution along both coasts and Lake Maracaibo Severe deforestation, oil spills and air pollution Oil spills have hurt the fishing industry and closed tourist resorts Contaminated oil pits (collect waste from oil wells) threaten to seep into the water supply Air pollution results from the burning of fossil fuels – health risks? Oil is main source of income, so people are motivated to keep drilling, producing, and burning oil…and polluting. 5th largest oil produce in the world - 15% of US oil is from Venezuela Venezuelan oil companies are government controlled

26 Environmental Issues Destruction of rainforests in Brazil…

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