2 Physical FeaturesThe Andes is the longest mountain range in the world.Pacific Ocean is on the westAtacama Desert also to the west.Tropical rainforests to the east.Grasslands to the southeast.Formed by 2 tectonic plates (Nazca and South American) colliding when the Nazca Plate subducted (tugged under) and the South American Plate buckled up over a period of 80 million years.The plate tectonics also has caused volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in this region.The Altiplano is a high plateau that flanks the Andes in Peru and Bolivia and it is rich in metals such as silver, zinc, tin, and lead.The Pampas are fertile grasslands.250,000 square milesOnce covered by 10 ft tall grassMost of Argentina’s population live here.
3 Climate Hotter closer to the equator. Off the west coast of Peru, warming of ocean water is called El Nino and causes heavy rain.The Humboldt Current cools the air and prevents rain from falling onto the desert coast of Peru and Chile, where the Atacama Desert is.
4 Ecosystems Climates and ecosystems vary in the Andes. In each vertical climate zone a different ecosystem has developed.Eastern Ecuador and Peru have high rainfall.Temperature and rainfall determine the kind of vegetation that growsThe Pacific coast is dry.
5 Land Use and Resources The Andes The Pampas Farming is difficult in the Andes because they are too mountainous for large-scale farmingFarming must happen on plateaus and in valleys, but wheat, coffee, corn, vegetables, many fruits, and thousands of kinds of potatoes can be grownNatural resources mined are gold, silver, and copper in the highlands of Peru and Bolivia.Hydroelectric dams are being built but can change the ecosystem, like in the Bio-Bio River flooding river valleys and forcing Native Americans from their homes.The PampasIdeal for cattle ranching and commercial farming for crops like soybeans, corn, and wheat.
6 People in the Andes and the Pampas The population is unevenly distributed, most people live in coastal cities.Buenos Aires with 12 million people is the largest city.A few large cities in Paraguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia.Smaller populations live in rural areas, mountain valleys, grasslands, and in the tropical rain forests.Those who live in Argentina and in the Pampas are mostly of Spanish and Italian ancestry; only 3% of people are indigenous and mestizo.In Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia it is a mixture of mestizos and Native Americans and are finally winning political power after years of discrimination.
7 Geography and History The Andes The Pampas are difficult to cross so societies and nations have been isolated from one another.Advanced civilizations like the Incas developed in the Andes.In places like Potosi, Spanish mined silver that made them rich.Used mountains in fighting for independence in Chile for surprise attacks.The Pampasattract settlers because of fertile land and helped create wealth of ArgentinaThe gauchos (cowboys) who normally were cattle ranchers formed calvarias to help fight for independence.