Regional Geography 105
Chile


Physiography of Chile

Dominant features:
Andes Mountains
Atacama Desert
Glaciation

Andes Mountains Range

The chain runs from the northern coast of Colombia and Venezuela to the southern tip of Chile and Argentina.
Many peaks are over 6,000 meters
Highest peak is:

Began forming when South American continent split away from African continent (Plate Tectonics).
As it moved westward, a subduction zone developed on the west coast.
Oceanic crust moved underneath the continental crust.
Melting of rock and mantle material creates magma beneath the surface. Magma erupts on surface creating chain of volcanoes and lava flows.

Glaciers

What is a glacier?
Ice will flow under pressure
______ meters of accumulation is necessary before flow will occur.

Necessary climatic conditions:
1.
2.

Main Glacier Types
1.
2.

Types of glaciers found in Chile
1.
2.
3.
4.

Other glacial features:
1.
2.

Atacama Desert

Desert Regions are defined as:

Five types of deserts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Rainshadow deserts form when mountain ranges block the passage of moist air
Moist air is forced up and over the mountain range - loosing the moisture in the process
When the air descends the leeward side of range it becomes dry and arid

Features of the Atacama Desert
Badlands
Dunes
Salt flats and deposits
Erosion.

Chilean Coasts

4300 km of coast line (2670 miles)
Rocky shores and beaches.

Chile

Independent nation in 1818
Total Area: 756,950 sq km (Montana x 2)
Population: 16,300,000 (mid-2007)
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%
Language: Spanish
Religions: Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 11%
Capital: Santiago
Government type: Republic

Additional Pictures and Information on Chile