El Sur del Sur
The Southernmost South
North West Subtropical Plain
Pampas Sierras Plata Plain Cuyo
Patagonia Argentine Sea Argentine Antarctica
the point of view of geography, Argentina can be divided into eight different
regions defined by a homogeneous climate and relief; these, in turn,
are sub-divided according to its most salient features:
This great surface of 463,322 sq. mi. (1,200,000 km2 ) is located in the north-east of the country and its boundaries are set to the north by Pilcomayo, Paraguay and High Paraná Rivers; to the south, by Colorado Rivers; and the west boundary is set by the foot of the big mountainous masses.
Plata Plain is, in turn, divided into the following regions:
Chaco Plain: It occupies the north part of the region and integrates four morphological units: the High Chaco, whose soil has thick sands and slime; the Depressed Chaco, which presents wide surfaces covered by swamplands and marshlands; the Low Chaco, characterized by its clayish-sandy soil and by the numerous swamplands and frequent floods; finally, there is the Fluvial Diagonal of Santiago del Estero, with its vast swamplands.
Corrientes Marshlands: This is a depressed area. Different changes of relief and climate determined the formation of marshlands; the most important ones in this area are those of Iberá, Maloyas, Batel y Santa Lucía.
Pampean Plain: It is located in the south of the region. Three different types of low sierras are found in this area: Mahuidas, Tandilia y Ventania.
The Pampa Plain is divided into three parts: the undulating Pampa, whose territory presents soft slopes, where you can distinguish ravines and fluvial terraces; the depressed Pampa, with permanent floods and the high Pampa, where some salty lagoons, salt-pits and dune formations can be found.
|Entre Ríos Slopes: This sub-region can
be found towards the east of this region and the south of the Corrientes
With a slightly undulating relief, it presents clayish soils and copious rainfalls.
|Deltaic Plain: The islands characterizing this
region were formed by the constant deposit of sediments from Paraná
River. A slow and permanent delta forming process determines the constant
change in the shape and size of the islands.
This region is located towards the north-east area of Argentina, its boundaries coincide with those of Paraguay and Brazil, and it is separated from the Plata Plain by the Aguapey River.
frequent rains determine the vaulted relief of this plateau due to the erosion
they produce. Furthermore, it presents some hills which are about 3,280
ft (1,000 m) high. The rivers in this area usually have waterfalls and brooks
and define the important hydraulic potential of the region.
As indicated by its name, it is located in the north-west area of the country. It is divided into three sub-regions:
Puna: It is a vast altiplane going beyond the boundaries of Argentina.
The place is characterized by plateaus between 9,842 and 11,483 ft (3,000 and 3,500 m) high, separated by sierra ranges.
|Eastern Cordillera: It presents three different kinds of relief; one of them is mountainous, within which you distinguish two chains, the Western and the Eastern; another relief kind is represented by quebradas (the Humahuaca and de Santa María-Guachipas are among the most important); and finally, the valley, generally wide and with soft slopes.|
|Sub-Andean Sierras: They are low, parallel sierras, looking from north-east to south-west.|
Located along the west border of the country and extending from the south of the Puna up to latitude 37º South, this region is basically mountainous. High summits and constant snowfalls are their main characteristics. In the Main Cordillera there is the Aconcagua, the highest peak in America, with 22,381 ft (6,959 m).
|The foot of the mountains, to the east of the mountainous
ranges constitutes the plain area within this region.
In hydrographical terms, this area presents rivers with a thawing regime, making up the Desaguadero system in one of the driest places in the country.
| Pampas sierras:
This region is in the center of the country, occupying part of the provinces of Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja, Santiago del Estero, Córdoba, San Luis and San Juan.
predominance of sierra ranges with flat tops, separated by valleys, fields
or hollows, is the main characteristic of the area. These ranges are the
following: the Eastern or the Aconquija, Austral, Central or Velasco,
and Western or Fátima system. Patagonia:
Located towards the south of Colorado River, Patagonia is divided into two sub-regions: Andean Patagonia: It is compounded by mountain ranges separated by valleys and lakes, whose summits are covered by glaciers.
|Extra-Andean Patagonia: It is a plateau, and its morphology is varied and complex, presenting stair-shaped plateaus, sierras, depressions and wide fluvial valleys.|
| Argentine Sea:
With a 386,102 sq. mi.(1,000,000 km2) surface, the Argentine shelf is one of the largest ones in the world and it is covered by the Argentine Sea.
It progressively widens towards the south and is morphologically similar to the Extra-Andean Patagonia, due to the stair-shaped plateaus.
The Malvinas Islands are within the Argentine platform.
The Argentine Sea generally presents a moderate surge and its tidal-range increases towards the south.
| Argentine Antarctica:
Being the southernmost region of the Argentine territory, it is covered by ice and snow most of the year. The swift winds reach 124 mph (200 kmph).
This region is compounded by these islands: South Orcadas, South Shetland, Decepción, Palmer, Biscoe, Belgrano, Elephant, Clarence, Berkner, Portillo and Quijada.
Table of contents Surfing the South Contact us now
© 1996-2007 Mario E. Farber, Irene N. Raizboim. All rights reserved.