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Latin America

Chapter 8: Physical
Geography of Latin America
Mr. Marston
Dominion Christian High
School
Marietta, Ga

Latin America



8 million square miles
16% of the earth’s surface
Historical roots: Spain and Portugal
Spanish and Portuguese based on
Latin: Latin America

3 distinct areas of Latin
America
• Middle America
a.Mexico
b.Central America
• Caribbean
• a. Bahamas: Bahamas and Turks and Caicos
• b. Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto
Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic)
• c. Lesser Antilles
• South America

Map Activity
• Place countries found on page 186 to
189 on the attached maps

Caribbean .

Lesser Antilles .

Greater Antilles .

South America .

Mountains • Run the length from North America to South America • Sierra Nevada in Mexico Sierra Madre: Occidental (Pacific Coast) “Western” Sierra Madre: Oriental: (Gulf Coast) “Eastern” Sierra Madre: del Sur: “Of the South” • Andes Mountains in South America • Formed by colliding tectonic plates (Cocos and Nazca) collide with North and South American Plates: Ring of Fire in the Pacific .

Sierra Madre (Occidental) .

timber and minerals) • Isolated peoples from one another • Blocked trade and movement .Mountains as sanctuaries • Places of human settlement • Escape the heat from lowland climates • Rich natural resources (water. volcanic soil.

Additional Areas • Mexican Plateau: fertile land area between the Sierra Madres in Mexico • Central Highlands: volcanic mountains in Central America .

Mexican Plateau .

Central Highlands .

From the Spanish word cordilla. or cord.Andes Mountains • Western edge of South America • World’s longest mountain chain • cordilleras: extensive chain of mountains that run parallel to one another. .

Andes Mountains .

Bolivia. and Peru • Sparsely populated .Mato Grosso Plateau • Eastern South America • Brazil.

Brazilian Highlands .

Brazilian Highlands .

Lowlands and Coastal Plains • Brazil: Atlantic Coast: major area of settlement • Vast Grasslands: Ilanos: Columbia Pampas: Argentina and Uruguay Provide grazing area for cattle and produces wheat and corn Llaneros (cowhands) in the Llanos Gauchos: (cowhands) in the Pampas .

Brazilian Coastal Plain .

Llanos .

Pampas .

and Uruguay Rivers form the second largest river system in Latin America • Important sources of hydroelectric power: electricity generated from the energy of water • Estuary: an area where the tide meets a river current (Rio de la Plata: river of Silver) Buenos Aires and Montevideo lie along the Rio de la Plata . Paraguay.Water Systems • • • • Rivers Rio Grande: borders Mexico and United States Amazon: longest river in Western Hemisphere Parana.

River Systems .

Rio de la Plata .

Lake Titicaca: World’s highest lake .

Lake Maracaibo: largest lake in South America .

Lake Nicaragua .

Natural Resources of Latin America • • • • • • Minerals (gold and silver) Forests Farmland Water Oil Natural gas .

Climate and Vegetation • • • • Rain forests Arid deserts Grassy plains Sandy beaches .

Tropical Climate: arrow indicates equator .

Varied climatic regions in Latin America .

Tropical Region • • • • Southern Mexico Eastern Central America Some Caribbean islands Parts of South America • Hot Temperatures • Abundant rainfall .

Tropical Rainforest • Trees form dense canopies (trees that cover and block out sunlight to the trees below them) • Covers 1/3 of South America • World’s wettest tropical plain • 80-120 inches of rain per year .

The Rain Forest .

Mouth of the Amazon River .

Tropical Savannah • • • • Coast of southwestern Mexico Most Caribbean islands North-central South America Illanos of Columbia and Venezuela • Characteristics Hot temperatures Abundant rainfall Extended dry season .

Tropical Savannah: Llanos .

hot and humid) • Pampas .Humid Subtropics • Southeastern South America (Rio de Janeiro to Argentina and Uruguay) • Winters (Short and Mild) • Summers (Long.

Pampas .

Gauchos .

America receive little rainfall. • Steppe Climate: hot summers. and light rainfall . cool winters.Desert and Steppe Areas • Northern Mexico • Coastal Peru and Chile • SE Argentina • Atacama Desert: no rainfall • Steppe: Northern Mexico and NE Brazil and Scentral S.

Desert .

Atacama Desert (Chile) .

500 feet to 6.Elevation and Climate • Vertical climate zones Tierra Caliente: sea level to 2. and cacao. Tierra Templada: 2.500 to 10.000 feet Frost is common during winter months Potatoes and barley . rice. sugar.500 feet 60 and 72 degrees Coffee and corn are grown Tierra Fria 6.500 ft 68 degrees to 91 degrees Average rainfall Bananas.