Category: South America

America – Physical Overview
North and South America are two vast land masses that have great similarities in geological structure. Compared to the other continents, the large north-south expansion is striking, ranging from the areas north of the 70th parallel to Tierra del Fuego south of the 50th parallel. North and South America thus have a share in all geographic zones. The high mountain belt of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes in the west is also striking. It has a great influence on the climatic conditions, as it acts like a bolt. The tectonic activities are evidence of its still geologically young age: active volcanoes and a high risk of earthquakes characterize the mountain belt.

North America can be divided into three major landscapes. The geologically young fold mountain belt of the Rocky Mountains with its striking north-south orientation continues as far as South America and reaches its greatest width in the area of ​​the Great Basin. It has been folded against the geologically old, stable American shield with its wide, open landscapes (Great Plains) in the east. There the waters form distinctive guidelines (chain of lakes from Bear Lake to Lake Erie, Hudson Bay, St. Lawrence River, Mississippi). The archipelagos in the Arctic Ocean and Greenland form the third large landscape.

With the very high, geologically young Cordilleras in the west, the extensive plains with their huge river systems in the interior and the lower, geologically old mountains in the east (Amazon Shield, Guyana Shield), South America’s geological structure and surface shape are very similar to North America. The climate and vegetation are completely different due to their location in the tropics (with the exception of the south). Despite their altitude, the Andes are the oldest settlement area, their preference has not changed until today. The settlement is otherwise coast-oriented in most countries. For more information about the continent of South America, please check

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Uruguay Population Graph

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