Natural areas of South America: table
South America is a unique continent. More than 50% of all equatorial and tropical forests growing on Earth are located in this part of the world. Most of the territories of the continent are in the tropical and equatorial belts. The climate is humid and warm, the temperature in winter and summer is not very different and on most parts of the continent is always positive. Natural areas of South America are uneven due to large differences in the relief of the eastern and western parts. The animal and plant world is represented by a large number of endemic species. Practically all the minerals are mined on this continent.
Further in the article will be discussed in detail the South American natural areas. The table shows which factors influence their formation. Each component of the geosystem will be described separately.
This subject is studied in detail by the school subject of geography (Grade 7). "Natural areas of South America" - the name of the topic of the lesson.
South America is located entirely in the western hemisphere, most of its territory lies in tropical and equatorial latitudes.
The mainland includes the Malvinas Islands, which lie in the shelf zone of the Atlantic Ocean, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The Tierra del Fuego archipelago is separated from the main part of South America by the Strait of Magellan. The length of the strait is about 550 km, it is located in the south.
In the north, there is Lake Maracaibo, which is connected by a narrow strait with the Gulf of Venezuela, one of the largest in the Caribbean.
The coastline is not cut up much.
Geological structure. Relief
Conventionally, South America can be divided into two parts: mountainous and flat. In the west - the folds of the Andes, in the east - the platform (ancient South American Precambrian).
Shields are elevated sections of the platform, in relief they correspond to the Guiana and Brazilian highlands. From the east of the Brazilian Highlands formed the Sierras - blocky mountains.
The Orinok and Amazonian lowland plains are the troughs of the South American Platform. The Amazon lowland covers the entire part of the territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains,from the north it is bounded by the Guiana Plateau, and from the south by the Brazilian Plateau.
Andes are among the highest mountain systems of the planet. And this is the longest chain of mountains on Earth, its length is almost 9 thousand km.
The earliest folding in the Andes was Hercynian, it began to form in the Paleozoic. The movements of the mountains are still taking place now - this zone is one of the most active. This is evidenced by strong earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The mainland is very rich in various minerals. Oil, gas, stone and brown coal, as well as various metal and non-metal ores (iron, aluminum, copper, tungsten, diamonds, iodine, magnesite, etc.) are extracted here. The distribution of mineral resources depends on the geological structure. Iron ore deposits belong to ancient shields, this is the northern part of the Guiana Highlands and the central part of the Brazilian Highlands.
Bauxite and manganese ores are concentrated in the weathering crust of the highlands.
In the hollows of the foothills, on the shelf, in the troughs of the platform, the extraction of combustible minerals: oil, gas, coal.
Emeralds are mined in Colombia.
Molybdenum and copper are mined in Chile. This country ranks second (as well as Zambia) in the world in the extraction of natural resources.
These are the natural areas of South America, the geography of distribution of minerals.
The climate of the continent, as well as of any continent, depends on several factors: the currents washing the continent, the macrorelief, the circulation of the atmosphere. Since the continent is crossed by the equator line, most of it is located in the subequatorial, equatorial, subtropical, tropical belts, therefore the sum of solar radiation is quite large.
Air masses from the Atlantic Ocean, which are significantly saturated with moisture, bring a large amount of precipitation over the eastern part of the continent.
The very south of South America is located in temperate latitudes. It is dominated by the transfer of air masses from the west.
In the mountains, at low altitudes, the climate is not much different from the surrounding plains. But when you climb into the mountains with each kilometer the air temperature drops by 6 °, the pressure and the amount of precipitation change.
Natural areas of South America. Table (Grade 7)
This part of the world differs from others in its uniqueness: the presence of a large number of endemics, a variety of living organisms.
The natural areas of South America are distributed as follows: humid equatorial forests, as well as savannas and light forests, subtropical steppes, semi-deserts, deserts, temperate forests and the zone of high altitude in the Andes. The influence of these zones is uneven, since the mainland has a large variety of relief.
Natural areas of South America. Table.
|Amazonian lowland||red yellow ferralitic||
oil and gas (Lago-Agrio)
manganese ore (Serra da Naviu)
(savanna and light forest)
Guiana and Brazilian Highlands (Campos)
|red-brown, red ferralitnye||
(Potosi, Morro do Urucoon)
hard coal (Pas del Rio)
|La Plata Lowland||red and black fertile||
uranium ore (Serra Pintada)
bismuth ore (valchet)
(semi-desert and desert)
low plateaus and plains
oil and gas
sodium nitrate (Tarapaca, Taltal)
iron ore (sierra grande)
|Temperate forests||part of the Andes||
oil and gas
The items "flora", "fauna" can be supplemented, the table shows the endemic and most common species with which the natural areas of South America are rich. Table (Grade 7) is composed of individual components that are interconnected. So, the relief of flora and fauna, as well as the presence of individual minerals. Vegetation depends on the type of soil.
Characteristics of the natural areas of South America. The zone of humid equatorial forests. Selva
This zone in South America occupies a large area: the entire Amazon lowland, located near the foot of the Andes and part of the nearby eastern coast.Wet equatorial forests or, as the locals call them, “selvas”, which translates from Portuguese as “forest”. Another name suggested by A. Humboldt is “giley”. Equatorial forests are multi-layered, almost all trees are intertwined with various types of lianas, many epiphytes, including orchids.
Typical representatives of the fauna are monkeys, tapirs, sloths, a huge variety of birds and insects.
Zone of savannas and woodlands. Llanos
This zone is occupied by the entire Orinok lowland, as well as the Brazilian and Guiana highlands. This natural area is also called lianos or campos. The soils are red-brown and red ferralit. Most of the territory is occupied by tall grasses: cereals, legumes. There are trees, usually acacias and palm trees, as well as mimosa, bottle tree, kebracho - endemic, growing on the Brazilian highlands. In translation it means "break the ax", because The wood of this tree is very hard.
Among animals, the most common are baker pigs, deer, anteaters and cougars.
The zone of subtropical steppes. Pampas
This zone covers the entire La Plata lowland. Soils are red-black ferralitic, it is formed as a result of the rotting of pampas grass and tree leaves.The humus horizon of such a soil can reach 40 cm, hence the land is very fertile, which is used by the locals.
The most common animals are the llama, the pampas deer.
Semi-desert and desert zone. Patagonia
This zone is located in the “rain shadow” of the Andes, as mountains block the path of the wet air masses. The soils are poor, brown, gray-brown and gray-brown. Sparse vegetation, mainly cacti and cereals.
Among the animals there are many endemic species: a Magellan dog, a skunk, an ostrich of Darwin.
Temperate forest zone
This zone is located south of 38 ° S. Its second name is hemigelea. This evergreen ever-wet forests. The soils are mostly forest burozems. The vegetation is very diverse, but the main representatives of the flora are the southern beech, the Chilean cypress trees and the araucaria.
Altitudinal zoning is characteristic of the entire stretch of the Andes, but it is most fully represented in the equatorial region.
To the height of 1500 m there is a “hot land”. Here grow wet equatorial forests.
Up to 2800 m is a moderate land. Tree ferns and coca bushes grow here, as well as bamboo and quinine tree.
Up to 3800 - zone of crooked or belt of low-growing high-mountain forests.
Up to 4500 m lies paramos - a zone of high-mountain meadows.
"Natural zones of South America" (Grade 7) is a topic in which you can see how the individual geocomponents are interconnected and how they influence the formation of each other.