Latin America’s Physical Geography Unit 8 Notes Name: ___________________

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  • Latin Americas Physical GeographyUnit 8 NotesName: ___________________

  • Latin America is divided into three regions:Mexico and Central AmericaCaribbeanSouth America

  • Mexico and Central America2,500 miles (about as wide as the US)mountains dominate the regionpart of a huge system that extends from Canada, through the US, and all the way to the tip of South Americacentral plateau in Mexico also called the Mexican Plateaulies between Sierra Madre mountains and makes up more than half the countrys areaCentral America is an Isthmus.isthmus = a narrow strip of land that has water on both sides and joins two larger bodies of watermany volcanoes in Central America, as a result, their soil is fertile and many people farm lands

  • Mexican Plateau

  • Gulf of MexicoUsed for shipping goods in LA & USbordered by the US (N), Mexico (S) and Cuba (E)

  • Sierra Madre Mountainsmountain system in Mexicothree major chains: the Sierra Madre Occidental in the west, the Sierra Madre Oriental in the east, and the Sierra Madre del Sur, which extends along the southern coastThe Sierra Madre range contains some of the highest mountains and volcanoes in Mexico.

  • Sierra Madre Mountains

  • Mexico and Central America

  • Panama Canal

  • Panama Canalcanal across the isthmus of Panama in Central Americahandles a large volume of world shipping and enables ships to avoid traveling around South America, reducing their voyages by thousands of miles and many days. consists of artificially created lakes, channels, and a series of locks, or water-filled chambers, that raise and lower ships through the mountainous terrain of central Panama

  • Caribbean small islands are made of coralskeletons of tiny sea animals, rock-like substancelarger islands are tops of underwater mountains examples: Cuba, Jamaica

  • Caribbean Seaa major trade route for Latin American countriesa popular resort areanoted for its mild tropical climate and beautiful waters

  • South AmericaAndes Mountains4,500 miles along west coastThey rise at some points to 20,000 feetsame height as twenty 100 story buildings stacked on top of each other 2nd largest mountains; Himalayas are the 1st

  • Andes

  • Amazon River Basincontains the largest tropical rain forest (Amazon Rain Forest) in the world

  • Amazon Rain Forest

  • South AmericaAtacama Desert (Chile)one of the driest places on earth; very little rainfallbetween the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains

  • Atacama Desert

  • South AmericaWater Rivers serve as natural highways where its hard to build roadsprovide food and hydroelectric power

    Amazon River2nd largest river in the world (1st--Nile River)4,000 miles from Peru across to Atlantic Oceancontains 20% of all fresh water in the world

  • Amazon Riverview from space