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 вЂњAndean RegionвЂќ 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 вЂњ of Andean decentвЂќ 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 пЃ® Known as the вЂњmost arid desert in the worldвЂќ 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 DesertвЂ™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: п‚§ Large barren landscapes п‚§ 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) п‚§Fantastic lunar landscapes п‚§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 ChileвЂ™s largest salt flat Extraordinarily dry air WorldвЂ™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 п‚§ 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 п‚§Licancabur: (Left) п‚§Stratovolcano п‚§Summit lake is one of highest in the world: п‚§ 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® вЂњIslas de GalapagosвЂќ 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 пЃ® WorldвЂ™s largest tropical rain forest (40% of South AmericaвЂ™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 пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® пЃ® MB вЂњA Brief History of the Galapagos Island,вЂќ www.pbs.org/safarchive/5_cool/galapagos/g21_history.html (10 Nov 2004). вЂњAmazon Rising: Season of the River,вЂќ www.sheddaquarium.org/exh_amazon.html (13 Nov 2004). вЂњAmazon (river),вЂќ Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia (2004) encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia _761571466/Amazon_(river).html. (13 Nov 2004). "Andes," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (13 Nov 2004) http://winkipedia.org/wiki/Andes. (14 Nov 2004). вЂњAtacama,вЂќ Latin Discover 2004. http://www.chilediscover.com/info/atacama.htm (12 Nov 2004). Corte, Arturo., Llibouty, Louis. USGS, satellite Image Atlas of glaciers of the world. (March of 1999) http://pubs.usgs.gov/prof/p1386i/chile-arg/intro.html. (14 Nov 2004). вЂњEl Tatio Geyser, Chile,вЂќ (2003) http://gosouthamerica.about.com/library/blElTatio.htm (12 Nov 2004). Encyclopedia search, tiscali.,http://www.tinscali.co.uk/misc/ (14 Nov 2004). вЂњGalapagos Overview,вЂќ www.volcanoworld.org/vwdocs/volc_tour/galapagos/gal_pgs.html (10 Nov 2004). вЂњHumboldt Current,вЂќ http://www.galapagosonline.com/Galapagos_Natural _History/Oceanography/Humboldt_Current.htm (12 Nov 2004). вЂњLanscar, Chile,вЂќ http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/south_america/chile/lascar.html (12 Nov 2004). вЂњLicancabur Volcano,вЂќ 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). вЂњSalar de Atacama,вЂќ 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). вЂњValle de la Luna,вЂќ http://www.gochile.cl/Attr_s/htm/valuna.asp (12 Nov 2004). www.amazonia-fish.co.uk/ (13 Nov 2004).