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South America: Physical Geography. Chapter 6. Section 1: Land & Water. Vocabulary. Plateau Amazon River Rain Forest Pampas Tributary. A large raised area of mostly level land A long river in Northern South America A dense evergreen forest that has abundant rainfall year-round

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Amazon River

Rain Forest



A large raised area of mostly level land

A long river in Northern South America

A dense evergreen forest that has abundant rainfall year-round

Flat grasslands in South America

River or stream that flows into a larger river


Part of a larger region called Latin America

Region includes Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean

Most is located below the Equator

Joined to Central America by Isthmus of Panama

Includes 12 independent countries

Divided into 3 land regions

Andes Mountains

Eastern Highlands

Central Plains

Continent of variety & contrast

Mountains, Plains & Beaches

Where is South America?

Regions of South America


Stretch 5,500 miles along Western Coast

Rise to heights of over 20,000 feet

Mount Aconcagua is tallest mtn in W. Hemisphere

People live & farm in the valleys of the Andes

Raise animals for wool & meat

Grow crops

NW portion is dry desert

Living can be dangerous

part of a volcanic chain located in the Ring of Fire

many volcanoes & earthquakes common

Begin at eastern edge of Andes & extend through middle of continent

Contains Amazon River basin in Northern part

Rain Forest covers 1/3 of the continent

holds many species of plants & animals

Southern part includes the pampas

Fertile soil ideal for growing crops and raising cattle

Andes Mountains

The Central Plains


Mostly rounded hills & plateaus

North & Southeast of the Amazon River BasinNorthern part has small population & not very developed

Southern section contains farms & cattle ranches

S. America’s largest cities found here

Ex. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

Largest & longest bodies of water in the world

Rivers serve as natural highways

Amazon River is 2nd longest in world

4,000 miles long

Carries more water than any other river in the world

20% of Earth’s fresh water is the Amazon

Waterways are an important natural resource

The Eastern Highlands

South America’s Waterways


Areas that have dry weather get heavy rain

Floods & drought happening at same time

Influences global weather patterns

Spanish for “little boy”

El Nino

the climates of south america
The Climates of South America

Amazon River Basin

Pacific Coast of Colombia

Atacama Desert

Coast of Peru

Andes Mountains

Hot & Rainy (80 in. each year)

Rains 300 Days out of the year

Hot & Dry

1 of driest places on Earth

Thick clouds and fog cover the area from May to November

Parts have below 0 temperatures

Glaciers present


Humid, hot, and rainy weather year round

Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia

Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay

Summers are hot & wet

Winters are cool & dry

Colder, drier area of Argentina

Tropical Wet


Tropical Wet & Dry Climate

Humid Subtropical Climate


what factors affect climate
What Factors Affect Climate?
  • Elevation
    • Higher the elevation the colder the temperature
  • Location
    • Regions close to the Equator are warmer
  • Wind Patterns
    • Wind moves cold air from North & South towards Equator, moves warm air from Equator towards the poles
climate plants people
Climate, Plants & People

Tropical Rain Forest

Pampas—grassy plains where cattle are raised in Argentina & Uruguay

Andes Mountains—grasslands where herding llamas are a big deal

Temperature & Rainfall affect types of crop grown

Warm weather & lots of rain

Sugar cane, coffee, rice & bananas

Northern part of the country

Elevation affects vegetation

Higher Elevation

Cooler temperatures, strong winds and irregular rainfall

What might grow here vs. lower down

Vegetation Regions

Crops & Climates

Elevation & Vegetation


Things found in nature that people can use to meet their needs

Electric power produced by rushing water

A country’s economy based largely on one resource or crop

To add variety

Natural Resources


One-resource economy


south america s resources
South America’s Resources

Fish, petroleum, water, silver, forests

Rich in minerals

Gold, copper, iron ore, tin

Found along coasts of Andes & Eastern Highland regions

Minerals are mined for manufacturing

Many South American countries have built dams to harness the power of water for energy

Plants and fish are natural resources

Forests cover ½ of South America

Variety of vegetation found in rain forest regions

Harvest many kinds of fish for eating and selling

Minerals & Energy Sources

Plants & Fish


Many parts of South America has rich soil

Sugar, corn, wheat, bananas, coffee are all grown here

Grasslands are used to raise livestock such as cattle & sheep

Alpacas and llamas are raised for their wool


resources the economy
Resources & the Economy

Not all South American countries have a lot of resources

Money plays a factor in developing the resources

Having a large amount of 1 resource can lead to problems

Depending on the demand of the product depends on how much it will sell for

Ex. When copper is in demand the prices or up and

vice versa for down

Potentially cause the whole economy of a country to suffer

Oil is 1 of most valuable resources in South America

Fluctuation in oil price has caused economy to suffer

Farming is a big industry

Prices fluctuate as well

Problems of a 1-Resource Economy

The World Economy


Weather brings challenges to economy

Damage crops, hurt fishing industry

Other examples?

Dependence on a particular resource can hurt the economy of the country depending on it

If something unexpected happens then country is left with few other sources of income

Economies became diversified in the 1960’s

Factories sprang up to provide jobs

Governments of South America continuously looking for ways to protect their nations from hazards of 1-resource economy

Weather Effects

South America Begins to Diversify