Photographic book

Northern plains region of Argentina


Patagonia
Patagonia

The northern plains region of Argentina lies east of the Andes. It is part of a huge lowland that extends northward into Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil. The Gran Chaco (also called Chaco) and Mesopotamia make up its two subregions. The Chaco is the larger subregion. Extending eastward from the foothills of the Andes to the Paraná River, the Chaco is an area of scrub woodland with large areas of grassy savanna and subtropical forest. Several rivers cross the Chaco, and parts of it flood extensively during summer. Salty soils in much of the Chaco limit the amount of land that can be used for farming. Much of the Chaco is wilderness used for grazing.

Mesopotamia, which means “between the rivers” in Greek, lies between the Paraná and Uruguay rivers. It was named after the ancient region of Mesopotamia in southwestern Asia. Argentina’s Mesopotamia is a humid lowland of gently rolling prairies, and it rises to an area of forested tablelands in the northeast. Also in the northeast, rivers plunge over the edges of the great Paraná Plateau and produce spectacular waterfalls. These waterfalls include Iguaçu Falls, one of the great natural wonders of South America, on the border with Brazil.

The Pampas, also known as the Pampa, are a vast fertile prairie south of the Chaco. They stretch west from Buenos Aires in a huge semicircle for hundreds of miles.

Their flat or gently rolling surface is broken only in the south, where a range of hills rises to about 1,200 m (about 4,000 feet) above sea level. The Pampas contain the majority of Argentina’s population, most of its cultivated land, and many of its industries.

The Patagonia


The windswept plateaus of Patagonia make up the tapering lower part of Argentina. Patagonia extends from the Atlantic Ocean on the east to the foothills of the Andes on the west. Deep canyons and grass-covered valleys cross the sparsely settled, treeless plateaus at intervals. The stony plateaus rise from low cliffs along the Atlantic coast to more than 1,500 m (5,000 ft) at the base of the Andes. Sea animals form colonies in gulfs and bays along the coastal cliffs. To the north Patagonia ends in the lake district. The Río Colorado (Colorado River) forms a natural boundary between Patagonia and the northern two-thirds of Argentina. Patagonia lies in the rain shadow of the Andes and so receives little moisture. As a result it is used primarily for grazing sheep, although some crops are grown on small farms in irrigated valleys. © "Argentina" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta

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