America (continued)

America (continued)

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Relief and hydrography

The entire western part of the American continent is distinguished by the presence of recent mountains and high plateaus.

It is from them that the rivers that flow the continent towards the oceans are born.

The rivers that flow into the Atlantic are large watersheds, while the rivers that flow toward the Pacific and Arctic Glacial Oceans are short and curvy.

Mountain ranges, plateaus and plains

The mountain range that extends from the extreme south of Chile to Alaska is given different names: Andes (South America), Sierra Madre (Mexico) and Rocky Mountains (North America).

Its origin is linked to plate tectonics. This portion of the continent corresponds to the margins of tectonic plates that are colliding with other plates. This fact explains the arrangement of these recent mountains north-south, the existence of numerous volcanoes, and earthquake episodes in these areas.

The American continent also has large areas of plateaus characterized by medium altitudes and very worn irregular shapes. The Appalachian hills in eastern North America and the Brazilian plateau in South America are examples of such relief.

In the interior of the American continent there are great plains and depressions, such as the Amazon Plain and Platinum in South America, and the Mississippi Plain in the United States.

Large river basins

America is abundantly irrigated by rivers and streams that constitute watersheds. Major watersheds include the Amazon, Platinum, and Mississippi-Missouri basins.

The Amazon basin, the largest river basin in the world, irrigates an area of ​​over 7 million square kilometers and represents about 20% of all freshwater on the planet. It has navigable rivers and abundant in fish, favoring fishing. Most of this basin is in Brazilian territory.

The Platinum basin is composed of plateau rivers such as the Paraná River and plain rivers such as the Paraguay River. These rivers bathe the most industrialized regions of South America: Southeast Brazil and the province of Buenos Aires, located in Argentina, at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata.

The Mississippi and Missouri River basins comprise large areas of the central lowlands in the United States.


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