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Geology of Pacific South America and the Andean Region

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Geology of Pacific
South America and
the Andean Region
By: Becky Baker, Marissa Bond,
Collin Whelley, Jackie Nagel
November 17, 2004
Introduction
пЃ® Four Themes
пЃ® Formation of the
Andes
пЃ® Atacama Desert
Geology
пЃ® Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Amazon River Basin
CW
What is the “Andean Region”
пЃ® The Andes Mountain Range
пЃ®
Second highest range in the
world
пЃ® The areas of geography on
either side
пЃ® The indigenous peoples
пЃ®
CW
“ of Andean decent”
Formation
пЃ® Nazca and South American Plate Boundaries
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Subduction Zone
The Rise: late Tertiary period
пЃ®
пЃ®
(40 million years ago)
Volcanic Process
пЃ®
CW
South American plate is moving westward while
the Nazca plate is moving eastward.
Magma cools in magma chambers creating
extreme pressure and violent eruptions
Nazca Plate vs. South American Plate
CW
The Subduction Zone
CW
Mountain Effects
пЃ® Ecology
пЃ® People
пЃ® Industry and
agriculture
пЃ® Earth quakes and active
volcanoes
пЃ® Climate effects
continued
CW
The Atacama Desert
пЃ® Location and Description
пЃ® Northern region of Chile
 Known as the “most arid desert in the
world”
пЃ® High altitude and cold temperatures
пЃ® Series of dry salt flanks
пЃ® Absence of rain and precipitation
пЃ® Wealth of desert based on mining
пЃ® Saltpeter and other fundamental natural
resources
MB
The Desert’s Aridity is explained by:
пЃ® Global and local climate aspects
пЃ® Geography and oceanography
factors
пЃ® The high mountains in the
Andes
пЃ® The flowing of the Humboldt
current
The result of these factors is:
 Large barren landscapes
 Variations of earthly colors
MB
The Geology of the Atacama Desert:
пЃ® Volcanic and erosive forces
пЃ® Volcanoes dominate the terrain
пЃ® Altiplano (high plane)
пЃ® Salt flats, multicolored lakes and hot springs
пЃ® Wind eroded hills and rock formations
Valle de la Luna
(Moon Valley)
Fantastic lunar
landscapes
Most inhospitable place
on the planet
MB
Geological Landscapes:
пЃ® El Tatio Geysers
пЃ® Highest geysers in the
world
пЃ® Strange mineral
formations
пЃ® 86 degree Fahrenheit
hot springs
пЃ® Fumaroles and
mountains
MB
Geological Landscapes (cont.)
пЃ® Salar de Atacama
(Salt Lake)
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
MB
Chile’s largest salt flat
Extraordinarily dry air
World’s largest lithium deposits
Geological Formations:
пЃ® Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Hills)
пЃ® Horizontal rock and sediment layers
пЃ® Tertiary periods (ca. 23 millions years ago)
пЃ®
Wind and rain erosion sculpt formations
 Gypsum creates salt-sprinkled look
MB
Left: red salt water due to algae
Right: thick layer of salt encrusts soil
Chilean Volcanoes:
пЃ® Lascar:
(Right)
пЃ® Active stratovolcano
пЃ® Erupted in 1993 and
2000
пЃ® Most active volcano in
the central Andes
Licancabur:
(Left)
Stratovolcano
Summit lake is one of
highest in the world:
 low oxygen, low
MB
atmostpheric-pressure
and high UV radiation
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Overview
пЃ®
Off the West coast of Ecuador in South
America
BB
пЃ®
Hot spot volcanoes
пЃ®
Belong to Ecuador (1832)
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ®
“Islas de Galapagos”
пЃ®
Charles Darwin (1835)
пЃ®
пЃ®
BB
Five year expedition
National Park
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Geology
пЃ®
пЃ®
Hot spot volcanoes like Hawaii
Shield Volcanoes
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
BB
Composed of Basalt
Non-explosive eruptions
16 Islands formed in Cenozoic Era: Pliocene
Epoch (5.1 to 2 million years ago)
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Geology (continued)
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
BB
One of most active oceanic volcano areas on
Earth
Igneous Islands
Very young and still forming
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Volcanoes
пЃ® 6 shield volcanoes
come together to form
the largest island,
Isabela
пЃ® Steeper than Hawaiian
Islands with barren
hardened lava areas
пЃ® Cliffs form jagged
points along the coast
BB
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Volcanoes (continued)
BB
пЃ®
Calderas/Cones (several thousand)
пЃ®
Unusual landforms produce a lunar-like
landscape
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Islands (Major of 16)
пЃ®
Isabela
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Fernandina
пЃ®
пЃ®
BB
Dry climate
Largest Island
70 miles long, covering half the land area of all
the islands put together
West of Isabela
Home of rare tortoises
The Galapagos Islands
пЃ® Islands (continued)
пЃ®
Santiago
пЃ®
пЃ®
Santa Cruz
пЃ®
пЃ®
Charles Darwin Research Station (1964)
San Cristobol
пЃ®
пЃ®
BB
Northeast of Isabela
Farthest east
Seat of government
The Amazon River Basin
пЃ® Introduction:
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
JN
Second longest in
length in the world
It is estimated that the
Amazon discharges
between 9 million and
32 million gallons of
water per second
Accounts for one- fifth
of the world's liquid
fresh water
The largest and
wettest tropical plain in
the world.
Geology of the Amazon River
пЃ® Giant river valley bordered to the north and south by
the Guiana and Brazilian shields
пЃ®
Comprised of hard Precambrian rock
пЃ® Pacific marine like animals
пЃ® Water levels within the Amazon basin changed with
the sea level
пЃ®
JN
huge lakes formed in the valley
Location of the Amazon River
пЃ® Starts in Brazil and
flows to Ecuador
пЃ®
over 200 tributaries in
Brazil alone
пЃ® Mouth of the river is in
Brazil
пЃ® Bordered by Guiana
and Brazilian shields
пЃ® Previously opened into
the Pacific ocean
JN
Features of the Amazon River
пЃ® Headstreams are found in the heights of the Andes
пЃ® Average depth of the river
пЃ® 150 miles wide at Atlantic estuary
пЃ® Rate of the flow
пЃ® Bed of the river
 World’s largest tropical
rain forest
(40% of South America’s
landmass)
JN
Effects on the Amazonian Rainforest
пЃ® Watershed and a wet
tropical plain
пЃ® Flooding of thousands
of square miles of forest
пЃ® Determinants of fish
distribution, behavior
and diversity within the
floodplain
пЃ®
JN
Habitats for animals
Animal Life of the Amazon
пЃ® over 2,000 types of fish
are in the Amazon River
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
JN
Piranhas, 200 lb.
Catfish
Arapaima- largest
freshwater fish
Freshwater stingrays
Anaconda
Cuban Crocodile
Supporting Life in
the Amazon River Basin
пЃ® The forest shelters the
largest biodiversity of the
planet
пЃ® It helps to regulate regional
hydrology and climate,
protects the soil, ameliorate
floods, and supports
indigenous communities
пЃ® Great diversity of
indigenous languages
and cultures
пЃ® With nearly 400 different
ethnic groups, 1-1.5
million indigenous people
JN
Questions Regarding the Geology of Pacific
South America and the Andean Region:
пЃ®
What are the two major plates that were and are involved in the formation of the Andes Mountain range?
-CW
пЃ®
What does the Andean region include?
-CW
пЃ®
What fundamental mineral was at one time the leading export of Chile?
-MB
пЃ®
What mineral creates the salt-sprinkled look of the salt flats in the Atacama Desert?
-MB
пЃ®
What type of volcanoes make up the Galapagos Islands? Describe them.
-BB
пЃ®
How were the islands formed?
пЃ®
Were they on tectonic plate lines? geographic location? hot spot?
-BB
пЃ®
How much of the worlds fresh water is found in the Amazon River Basin?
-JN
пЃ®
MB
The mouth/inlet of the river is located in what country, while its outlet is located in the Pacific country of Ecuador?
-JN
Bibliography
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пЃ®
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пЃ®
пЃ®
MB
“A Brief History of the Galapagos Island,” www.pbs.org/safarchive/5_cool/galapagos/g21_history.html (10 Nov 2004).
“Amazon Rising: Season of the River,” www.sheddaquarium.org/exh_amazon.html (13 Nov 2004).
“Amazon (river),” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia (2004) encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia
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2004).
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http://pubs.usgs.gov/prof/p1386i/chile-arg/intro.html. (14 Nov 2004).
“El Tatio Geyser, Chile,” (2003) http://gosouthamerica.about.com/library/blElTatio.htm (12 Nov 2004).
Encyclopedia search, tiscali.,http://www.tinscali.co.uk/misc/ (14 Nov 2004).
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_History/Oceanography/Humboldt_Current.htm (12 Nov 2004).
“Lanscar, Chile,” http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/south_america/chile/lascar.html
(12 Nov 2004).
“Licancabur Volcano,” http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2002/02images/lanca/lanca.html (12 Nov 2004).
MBarron.net Production 1998 www.mbarron.net/Amazon/bigmap.htm (13 Nov 2004).
Roach, John, National Geographic News (October 22, 2003)
news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/10022 031022 andesrise.html.
(14 Nov 2004).
“Salar de Atacama,” LanChile (2003) http://www13.lanchile.com/english/un/vacaciones/sudamerica/chile/atacama.htm
(12 Nov 2004).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2004, Columbia University Press.
www.factmonster.com/ce6/world/A0803618.html (13 Nov 2004).
“Valle de la Luna,” http://www.gochile.cl/Attr_s/htm/valuna.asp (12 Nov 2004).
www.amazonia-fish.co.uk/ (13 Nov 2004).
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