Geography of Argentina

Geography of Argentina

South America

Argentina is located between 57° and 70° west longitude, 22° and 41° south latitude. Washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The cold Falkland Current runs along Patagonia. The length of the coastline is 4989 km. In the north, from the estuary of La Plata to the Gulf of El Rincón, the coasts are low and leveled; to the south – abrasion, with open bays of San Matias and Golfo Nuevo (which almost cut off the Valdes Peninsula), San Jorge and Bahia Grande, with narrow beaches, above which rise a series of terraces. In the extreme southeast, Argentina includes the eastern part of the island of Tierra del Fuego and the island of Estados.

Argentina is bordered to the west by Chile, to the north and northeast by Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay.

In the relief of Argentina, 4 main physical and geographical regions are clearly distinguished. Along the western border are the Andes. Between 32 ° and 35 ° south latitude, the Andes reach their greatest height (the highest point in the Western Hemisphere is Mount Aconcagua, 6960 m). To the east of the Andes are the mountain ranges of the Pampina Sierras and Precordillera (2000-6000 m). The extreme northeast of Argentina is occupied by the Gran Chaco plain (altitude 25–60 m). To the southeast of the Gran Chaco stretches the Mesopotamia (Parana-Uruguay rivers). Between the rivers Rio Salado and Rio Colorado there is a plain – Pampa. And finally, the fourth physiographic region of Argentina – Patagonia – a territory lying south of the Colorado River, represented by flat table surfaces that descend in ledges from west to east to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean (from 2000 to 100 m).

Of the minerals, Argentina is provided with lead-zinc ores and rare metals – tungsten and beryllium. Deposits of metal ores are confined to the Andean folded belt, as well as to the crystalline cores of the Precordillera and Pampina Sierras. Iron ore reserves are located in Patagonia. Of the fuel and energy, oil and natural gas are of the greatest importance. Proven oil reserves are estimated at 1.2 billion m3, natural gas – 780 billion m3 (2001). Of non-metallic minerals, Argentina stands out as one of the world’s largest deposits of natural borates.

Argentina lies in three climatic zones: tropical, subtropical and temperate. The position of most of the country in tropical and subtropical latitudes results in a significant amount of solar radiation. Average annual temperatures range from +24°C in the north to +5°C in the south. The average temperatures of the warmest month – January – are + 29 ° C in the north, + 14 ° C in the south (the influence of the cold Falkland Current affects here). In July, the coldest month, the average temperature in the north is +17°С, in the south +2°С. The annual amount of precipitation in the northeast is up to 1600 mm, in the Gran Chaco it decreases from 1400 to 400 mm, in Pampa from 1000 to 400 mm, in Patagonia 100-300 mm. Snow cover is stable only in the Andes.

The river network is best developed in the northeast, where the main navigable rivers of Argentina flow – Parana (4400 km), the lower reaches of the Paraguay and Uruguay rivers. The largest rivers of northern Argentina are tributaries of the Parana: Pilcomayo, Rio Bermejo, Rio Salado. The regime of most of the rivers of Patagonia (Rio Negro, Rio Colorado, Chubut, Deseado, Santa Cruz) is regulated by Predian lakes. There are many glacial lakes in the Andes (Nahuel Huapi, Buenos Aires, San Martin, Argentino). There are also many lakes in Patagonia (Musters, Colue Huapi), in Pampas (Mar Chiquita) and in the Pampinian Sierras (salty).

In the north of Argentina, red soils are common in the Gran Chaco. In the north of Mesopotamia there are red lateritic soils and krasnozems, and in the central and southern parts they are clayey, swampy in places; meadow soils appear in the south. The chernozem-like and meadow soils of the Humid Pampa are very fertile.

According to Bridgat, the tropical zone is dominated by forest formations. In the extreme northeast and on the eastern slopes of the Andes, moist dense forests (up to 150 species of trees per 1 ha) are widespread, in which Brazilian araucaria, mate, cedro, and other valuable species grow. The dry woodlands of the Gran Chaco are quebracho trees. The windward slopes of the Andes and the Pampian Sierras are covered with mountainous moist evergreen forests. Leeward Pune is represented by shrub deserts. Grassy and savannah formations are common in the subtropical zone. Groups of palms and small trees (prosonis, acacias, etc.) are scattered among the grassy vegetation. In the humid Pampa, the forb-grass cover is completely destroyed.

In the extreme northeast of Argentina, monkeys and cats, vampires, martens, tapirs, peccaries, anteaters, corzuela deer, capybara, toucans are found; the Chaco has a particularly large number of snakes. Most of Argentina is characterized by bats, guanacos, vizcacha, mara and tuku-tuku, pampas deer, Azar fox, skunks, coypu, rhea; only in Pune live vicuña and chinchilla, and in the forests on the border with Chile – deer uemul and pudu, otter huelin. There are puma, jaguar, armadillos. Lots of birds. The waters are rich in fish and marine animals.

Geography of Argentina