2 Human activities in the Andes The specification requires you to study human activity in one range of fold mountains such as the Andes.The Andes are the longest chain of fold mountains in the world, stretching for 7,000km north-south along the western side of South America. The mountain chain is about 300km wide and has an average height of 4,000m.For the people living in the Andes, the steep slopes and harsh climate are challenges to be overcome, but the region does provide opportunities for farming, energy production, mining and tourism.This presentation describes some of the characteristics of farming, mining, energy production and tourism in this region.
3 Where are the Andes? The Andes are young fold mountains that run the length ofSouth America
4 FarmingSowing corn and beans, using cattle to plough the soil. Traditionally farmers have employed a system called ‘waru waru’, which involves creating raised fields surrounded by ditches for drainage.
5 Farming: Key featuresIrrigation has been used in the Andes for more than 6,000 years.Farmers use terracing to cope with the steep slopes.Potatoes are grown widely throughout the Andes as a staple crop.Cash crops include cotton, tobacco and coffee, which are mostly grown in the sheltered and more fertile valley bottoms.
6 MiningCopper blasting in Chile. The Andes have rich deposits of copper, gold, tin and iron.
7 Hydroelectric powerSteep mountain slopes and high rainfall make the Andes ideal for hydroelectric power production. The Yuncan project in Peru (above) includes 16 miles of tunnels. Hydroelectric power makes up 50 per cent of energy production in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
8 Tourism: The Inca trail, Peru This is the 45km Inca Trail leading to the ‘lost city of the Incas’, Machu Picchu. As more than 400,000 people visit the ancient city every year, there is concern about damage to the environment.