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The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
. The range is long, wide (widest between 18°S - 20°S
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
), and has an average height of about . The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries:
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
,
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conv ...

Colombia
,
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
,
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
,
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
,
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
, and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
. Along their length, the Andes are split into several ranges, separated by intermediate
depressions Depression may refer to: Mental health * Depression (mood), a state of low mood and aversion to activity * Mood disorders characterized by depression are commonly referred to as simply ''depression'', including: ** Dysthymia ** Major depressive ...
. The Andes are the location of several high
plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the proces ...

plateau
s—some of which host major cities such as
Quito Quito (; ; qu, Kitu; formally San Francisco de Quito) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more ...

Quito
,
Bogotá Bogotá (, also , , ), officially Bogotá, Distrito Capital, abbreviated Bogotá, D.C., and formerly known as Santa Fe de Bogotá during the Spanish period and between 1991 and 2000, is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Colombia, a ...

Bogotá
,
Cali Santiago de Cali (), or Cali, is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department Valle del Cauca, or Cauca Valley (), is a department of Western Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia (), is a country in South Am ...

Cali
,
Arequipa Arequipa (; Aymara and qu, Ariqipa) is a city located in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territoria ...

Arequipa
,
Medellín Medellín ( or ), officially the Municipality of Medellín ( es, Municipio de Medellín), is the second-largest city in Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of ...

Medellín
,
Bucaramanga Bucaramanga () is the capital and largest city of the department of Santander, Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia (), is a country in South America with Insular region of Colombia, territories in North America. C ...

Bucaramanga
,
Sucre Sucre () is the constitutional capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and ...

Sucre
, Mérida,
El Alto El Alto (Spanish for "The Heights") is the second-largest city in Bolivia, located adjacent to La Paz in Pedro Domingo Murillo Province on the Altiplano highlands. El Alto is today one of Bolivia's fastest-growing urban centers, with an estimate ...

El Alto
and
La Paz La Paz (), officially known as Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: Help:IPA/Spanish, nwes.tɾa seˈɲoɾa ðe la pas ''English: Our Lady of Peace''), and also Chuqi Yapu in Aymara language, Aymara, is the seat of government ...

La Paz
. The
Altiplano plateau
Altiplano plateau
is the world's second-highest after the
Tibetan plateau The Tibetan Plateau (, also known as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and - ...
. These ranges are in turn grouped into three major divisions based on climate: the
Tropical Andes The Tropical Andes is northern of the three climate-delineated parts of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mount ...
, the
Dry Andes The Dry Andes ( es, Andes áridos) is a climatic and glaciology, glaciological subregion of the Andes. Together with the Wet Andes it is one of the two subregions of the Argentina, Argentine and Chilean Andes. The Dry Andes runs from the Atacama Des ...
, and the
Wet Andes The Wet Andes ( es, Andes húmedos) is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from mon ...
. The Andes Mountains are the highest mountain range outside Asia. The highest mountain outside Asia, Argentina's Mount
Aconcagua Aconcagua () is a mountain in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mountain range i ...

Aconcagua
, rises to an elevation of about above sea level. The peak of
Chimborazo Chimborazo () is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, long ...
in the Ecuadorian Andes is farther from the Earth's center than any other location on the Earth's surface, due to the
equatorial bulge Equatorial generally means "of or related to an equator". Equatorial may refer specifically to: Places * Equatorial region, a region of the Earth surrounding the equator * Equatorial Islands, an alternative name for the Line Islands in the cent ...
resulting from the
Earth's rotation Earth's rotation or Earth's spin is the rotation A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotation plan ...
. The world's highest
volcano A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object A planet is an astronomical body orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet a ...

volcano
es are in the Andes, including
Ojos del Salado Nevado Ojos del Salado is an active stratovolcano A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic as ...

Ojos del Salado
on the Chile-Argentina border, which rises to . The Andes are also part of the
American Cordillera The American Cordillera is a chain of mountain ranges (cordilleras) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, South America and Central America. It is also the backbone ...
, a chain of mountain ranges (
cordillera A cordillera is an extensive chain of mountains A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volum ...

cordillera
) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.


Etymology

The etymology of the word ''Andes'' has been debated. The majority consensus is that it derives from the
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
word , which means "east"Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua–Spanish dictionary) as in ''
Antisuyu Antisuyu (Quechua language, Quechua ''anti'' east, ''suyu'' (quadrant) region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "eastern region") was the eastern part of the Inca Empire which bordered on the modern-day U ...
'' (Quechua for "east region"), one of the four regions of the
Inca Empire The Inca Empire, also known as Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, and at the time known as the Realm of the Four Parts,,  "four parts together" was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military c ...

Inca Empire
. The term ''
cordillera A cordillera is an extensive chain of mountains A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volum ...

cordillera
'' comes from the Spanish word ''cordel'', meaning "rope", and is used as a descriptive name for several contiguous sections of the Andes, as well as the entire Andean range, and the combined mountain chain along the western part of the North and South American continents.


Geography

The Andes can be divided into three sections: ; The Southern Andes: in Argentina and Chile, south of
Llullaillaco Llullaillaco () is a dormant stratovolcano A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical A cone is a three-dimensional space, three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base (frequently, though ...

Llullaillaco
. ; The Central Andes: in Peru and Bolivia. ; The Northern Andes: in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. In the northern part of the Andes, the separate
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (English: ''Snow-Covered Mountain Range of Saint Martha'') is an isolated mountain range in northern Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a List of transcontinental countrie ...

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
range is often treated as part of the Northern Andes. The
Leeward Antilles The Leeward Antilles ( nl, Benedenwindse Eilanden) are a chain of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergen ...
islands
Aruba Aruba ( , , ) is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image_map2 = File:KonDerNed-10-1 ...

Aruba
,
Bonaire Bonaire ( or ; ; pap, Boneiru, ) is an island in the Leeward Antilles The Leeward Antilles ( nl, Benedenwindse Eilanden) are a chain of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dram ...

Bonaire
, and
Curaçao Curaçao ( ; ; pap, Kòrsou, ) is a Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Cari ...
, which lie in the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an Americas, American Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean ...
off the coast of Venezuela, were formerly thought to represent the submerged peaks of the extreme northern edge of the Andes range, but ongoing geological studies indicate that such a simplification does not do justice to the complex tectonic boundary between the South American and Caribbean plates.


Geology

The Andes are a
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
Tertiary Tertiary ( ) is a widely used but obsolete term for the geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology ...

Tertiary
orogenic An orogeny is an event that leads to both structural Deformation (physics), deformation and compositional differentiation of the Earth's lithosphere (Crust (geology), crust and uppermost Mantle (geology), mantle) at Convergent boundary, converge ...
belt of mountains along the
Pacific Ring of Fire The Ring of Fire (also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Rim of Fire, the Girdle of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt) is a region around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth ...

Pacific Ring of Fire
, a zone of
volcanic activity A volcano is a rupture in the Crust (geology), crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and Volcanic gas, gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often fo ...
that encompasses the Pacific rim of the Americas as well as the
Asia-Pacific The Asia-Pacific is the part of the world In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in dif ...

Asia-Pacific
region. The Andes are the result of
tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibri ...
processes, caused by the
subduction Subduction is a geological process in which the oceanic lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, λίθος [] for "rocky", and [] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial planet, terrestrial-type planet or natural satellite. O ...

subduction
of
oceanic crust The oceanic crust is the uppermost layer of the oceanic portion of the tectonic plates This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust i ...
beneath the
South American Plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around thic ...
. It is the result of a convergent plate boundary between the Nazca Plate and the South American Plate. The main cause of the rise of the Andes is the compression of the western rim of the
South American Plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around thic ...
due to the subduction of the
Nazca Plate #REDIRECT Nazca Plate The Nazca Plate or Nasca Plate, named after the Nazca region of southern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol ...
and the
Antarctic Plate The Antarctic Plate is a tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is ...
. To the east, the Andes range is bounded by several
sedimentary basin Sedimentary basins are regions of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remainin ...
s, such as
Orinoco The Orinoco () is one of the longest rivers in South America at . Its drainage basin, sometimes known as the Orinoquia, covers , with 76.3 percent of it in Venezuela and the remainder in Colombia. It is the List of rivers by discharge, fourt ...

Orinoco
,
Amazon Basin The Amazon Basin is the part of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven ...

Amazon Basin
, and
Gran Chaco The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland natural region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Gross ...
, that separate the Andes from the ancient
craton A craton (, , or ; from el, κράτος ''kratos'' "strength") is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, λίθος [] for "rocky", and [] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial p ...
s in eastern South America. In the south, the Andes share a long boundary with the former Patagonia#Geology, Patagonia Terrane. To the west, the Andes end at the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific Ocean
, although the can be considered their ultimate western limit. From a geographical approach, the Andes are considered to have their western boundaries marked by the appearance of coastal lowlands and a less rugged topography. The Andes Mountains also contain large quantities of iron ore located in many mountains within the range. The Andean orogen has a series of bends or
oroclineAn orocline — from the Greek words for "mountain" and "to bend" — is a bend or curvature of an orogenic (mountain building) belt imposed after it was formed. The term was introduced by S. Warren Carey in 1955 in a paper setting forth how complex ...
s. The Bolivian Orocline is a seaward concave bending in the coast of South America and the Andes Mountains at about 18° S. At this point, the orientation of the Andes turns from Northwest in
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
to South in
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
. The Andean segment north and south of the Orocline have been rotated 15° to 20° counter clockwise and clockwise respectively. The Bolivian Orocline area overlaps with the area of maximum width of the and according to Isacks (1988) the Orocline is related to
crustal shortening Thrust tectonics or contractional tectonics is concerned with the structures formed by, and the Tectonics, tectonic processes associated with, the shortening and thickening of the Crust (geology), crust or lithosphere. It is one of the three main ...
. The specific point at 18° S where the coastline bends is known as the "Arica Elbow". Further south lies the Maipo Orocline a more subtle Orocline between 30° S and 38°S with a seaward-concave break in trend at 33° S. Near the southern tip of the Andes lies the Patagonian Orocline.


Orogeny

The western rim of the
South American Plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around thic ...
has been the place of several pre-Andean
orogenies An orogeny is an event that leads to both structural Deformation (physics), deformation and compositional differentiation of the Earth's lithosphere (Crust (geology), crust and uppermost Mantle (geology), mantle) at Convergent boundary, converge ...
since at least the late
Proterozoic The Proterozoic () is a geological eon spanning the time interval from 2500 to 541million years ago. It is the most recent part of the Precambrian The Precambrian (or Pre-Cambrian, sometimes abbreviated pꞒ, or Cryptozoic) is the earliest par ...
and early
Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era ( ; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Eu ...
, when several
terrane In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes ...
s and
microcontinent Continental crustal fragments, partially synonymous A synonym is a word, morpheme, or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, morpheme, or phrase in a given language. For example, in the English language, the words ''begi ...
s collided and amalgamated with the ancient
craton A craton (, , or ; from el, κράτος ''kratos'' "strength") is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, λίθος [] for "rocky", and [] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial p ...
s of eastern South America, by then the South American Plate, South American part of Gondwana. The formation of the modern Andes began with the events of the
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...

Triassic
when
Pangaea Pangaea or Pangea () was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology) ...

Pangaea
began the break up that resulted in developing several
rift In geology, a rift is a linear zone where the lithosphere is being pulled apart and is an example of extensional tectonics. Typical rift features are a central linear Fault (geology), downfaulted depression, called a graben, or more commonly ...

rift
s. The development continued through the
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...
Period. It was during the
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
Period that the Andes began to take their present form, by the uplifting,
faulting In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the proces ...
and folding of
sedimentary Sedimentary rocks are types of rock (geology), rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic matter, organic particles at Earth#Surface, Earth's surface, followed by cementation (geology), cementation. Sedimentatio ...

sedimentary
and
metamorphic Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the mineral ...

metamorphic
rocks of the ancient cratons to the east. The rise of the Andes has not been constant, as different regions have had different degrees of tectonic stress, uplift, and
erosion In earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific ...

erosion
. Tectonic forces above the
subduction zone Subduction is a geological process in which the oceanic lithosphere is recycled into the Earth's mantle at convergent boundaries. Where the oceanic lithosphere of a tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tec ...
along the entire west coast of South America where the
Nazca Plate #REDIRECT Nazca Plate The Nazca Plate or Nasca Plate, named after the Nazca region of southern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol ...
and a part of the
Antarctic Plate The Antarctic Plate is a tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is ...
are sliding beneath the
South American Plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around thic ...
continue to produce an ongoing orogenic event resulting in minor to major
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known ...

earthquake
s and
volcanic eruption Several types of volcanic eruptions—during which lava Lava is magma once it has been expelled from the interior of a terrestrial planet (such as Earth) or a Natural satellite, moon onto its surface. Lava may be erupted at a volcano or ...

volcanic eruption
s to this day. In the extreme south, a major
transform fault A transform fault or transform boundary, sometimes called a strike-slip boundary, is a fault Fault commonly refers to: *Fault (geology), planar rock fractures showing evidence of relative movement *Fault (law), blameworthiness or responsibility ...

transform fault
separates
Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego#REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego Tierra del Fuego (, ; Spanish for "Land of Fire", formerly also Fireland in English) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cl ...

Tierra del Fuego
from the small
Scotia Plate The Scotia Plate () is a tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around thick and cons ...
. Across the wide
Drake Passage The Drake Passage (referred to as Mar de Hoces Hoces Sea"in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries) is the body of water between South America's Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It connects the southwestern ...
lie the mountains of the
Antarctic Peninsula The Antarctic Peninsula, known as O'Higgins Land in Chile and Tierra de San Martin in Argentina, and originally as the Palmer Peninsula in the US and Graham Land in the United Kingdom, is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica. T ...

Antarctic Peninsula
south of the Scotia Plate which appear to be a continuation of the Andes chain. The regions immediately east of the Andes experience a series of changes resulting from the Andean orogeny. Parts of the Sunsás Orogen in
Amazonian craton Approximate location of Mesoproterozoic (older than 1.3 Ga) cratons in South America and Africa. The São Luís and the Luis Alves cratonic fragments (Brazil) are shown, but the Arequipa–Antofalla Craton, the Sahara Craton and some minor Af ...
disappeared from the surface of earth being by the Andes. The , where the effects of the ancient
Pampean orogeny The Pampean orogeny ( es, orogenia pampeana) was an orogeny An orogeny is an event that leads to both structural deformation and compositional differentiation of the Earth's lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, wikt:λίθος#Ancient Greek, λ ...
can be observed, owe their modern uplift and relief to the
Andean orogeny The Andean orogeny ( es, Orogenia andina) is an ongoing process of orogeny An orogeny is an event that leads to both structural deformation and compositional differentiation of the Earth's lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, wikt:λίθος# ...
in the
Tertiary Tertiary ( ) is a widely used but obsolete term for the geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology ...

Tertiary
. Further south in southern
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convent ...

Patagonia
the onset of the Andean orogeny caused the
Magallanes Basin The Magallanes Basin (predominantly used in Chile) or Austral Basin (mainly used in Argentina) is a major sedimentary basin Sedimentary basins are regions of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical obj ...
to evolve from being an extensional tectonics, extensional back-arc basin in the
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
to being a compressional Andean Foreland Basin, foreland basin in the Cenozoic.


Volcanism

The Andes range has many active volcanoes distributed in four volcanic zones separated by areas of inactivity. The Andean volcanism is a result of
subduction Subduction is a geological process in which the oceanic lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, λίθος [] for "rocky", and [] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial planet, terrestrial-type planet or natural satellite. O ...

subduction
of the Nazca Plate and Antarctic Plate underneath the South American Plate. The belt is subdivided into four main volcanic zones that are separated from each other by volcanic gaps. The volcanoes of the belt are diverse in terms of activity style, products and morphology. While some differences can be explained by which volcanic zone a volcano belongs to, there are significant differences inside volcanic zones and even between neighbouring volcanoes. Despite being a type location for calc-alkalic and subduction volcanism, the Andean Volcanic Belt has a large range of volcano-tectonic settings, such as rift systems and extensional zones, transpressional faults, subduction of mid-ocean ridges and seamount chains apart from a large range of crustal thicknesses and magma ascent paths, and different amount of crustal assimilations.


Ore deposits and evaporates

The Andes Mountains host large ore and salt deposits and some of their eastern fold and thrust belt acts as traps for commercially exploitable amounts of hydrocarbons. In the forelands of the Atacama Desert some of the largest porphyry copper mineralizations occurs making Chile and Peru the first and second largest exporters of copper in the world. Porphyry copper in the western slopes of the Andes has been generated by hydrothermal fluids (mostly water) during the cooling of pluton (geology), plutons or volcanic systems. The porphyry mineralization further benefited from the dry climate that let them largely out of the disturbing actions of meteoric water. The dry climate in the central western Andes has also led to the creation of extensive Chile saltpeter, saltpeter deposits which were extensively mined until the invention of synthetic nitrates. Yet another result of the dry climate are the Dry lake, salars of Salar de Atacama, Atacama and Salar de Uyuni, Uyuni, the first one being the largest source of lithium today and the second the world's largest reserve of the element. Early Mesozoic and Neogene plutonism in Bolivia's Cordillera Central created the Bolivian tin belt as well as the famous, now depleted, deposits of Cerro Rico, Cerro Rico de Potosí.


Climate and hydrology

The climate in the Andes varies greatly depending on latitude, altitude, and proximity to the sea. Temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity decrease in higher elevations. The southern section is rainy and cool, the central section is dry. The northern Andes are typically rainy and warm, with an average temperature of in Colombia. The climate is known to change drastically in rather short distances. Rainforests exist just kilometres away from the snow-covered peak Cotopaxi. The mountains have a large effect on the temperatures of nearby areas. The snow line depends on the location. It is at between in the tropical Ecuadorian, Colombian, Venezuelan, and northern Peruvian Andes, rising to in the drier mountains of southern Peru south to northern Chile south to about 30th parallel south, 30°S before descending to on Aconcagua at 32nd parallel south, 32°S, at 40th parallel south, 40°S, at 50th parallel south, 50°S, and only in
Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego#REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego Tierra del Fuego (, ; Spanish for "Land of Fire", formerly also Fireland in English) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cl ...

Tierra del Fuego
at 55th parallel south, 55°S; from 50°S, several of the larger glaciers descend to sea level. The Andes of Chile and Argentina can be divided in two climatic and glaciological zones: the
Dry Andes The Dry Andes ( es, Andes áridos) is a climatic and glaciology, glaciological subregion of the Andes. Together with the Wet Andes it is one of the two subregions of the Argentina, Argentine and Chilean Andes. The Dry Andes runs from the Atacama Des ...
and the
Wet Andes The Wet Andes ( es, Andes húmedos) is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from mon ...
. Since the Dry Andes extend from the latitudes of Atacama Desert to the area of Maule River, precipitation is more sporadic and there are strong temperature oscillations. The line of equilibrium may shift drastically over short periods of time, leaving a whole glacier in the ablation area or in the Glacier ice accumulation, accumulation area. In the high Andes of central Chile and Mendoza Province, rock glaciers are larger and more common than glaciers; this is due to the high exposure to solar radiation. Though precipitation increases with the height, there are semiarid conditions in the nearly highest mountains of the Andes. This dry steppe climate is considered to be typical of the subtropical position at 32–34° S. The valley bottoms have no woods, just dwarf scrub. The largest glaciers, as e.g. the Plomo glacier and the Horcones glaciers, do not even reach in length and have an only insignificant ice thickness. At glacial times, however, c. 20,000 years ago, the glaciers were over ten times longer. On the east side of this section of the Mendozina Andes, they flowed down to and on the west side to about above sea level.Kuhle, M. (2011): The High-Glacial (Last Glacial Maximum) Glacier Cover of the Aconcagua Group and Adjacent Massifs in the Mendoza Andes (South America) with a Closer Look at Further Empirical Evidence. Development in Quaternary Science, Vol. 15 (Quaternary Glaciation – Extent and Chronology, A Closer Look, Eds: Ehlers, J.; Gibbard, P.L.; Hughes, P.D.), 735–738. (Elsevier B.V., Amsterdam). The massifs of Cerro Aconcagua (), Cerro Tupungato () and Nevado Juncal () are tens of kilometres away from each other and were connected by a joint ice stream network. The Andes' dendritic glacier arms, i.e. components of valley glaciers, were up to long, over thick and overspanned a vertical distance of . The climatic glacier snowline (ELA) was lowered from to at glacial times.


Flora

The Andean region cuts across several natural region, natural and floristic regions, due to its extension, from Caribbean Venezuela to cold, windy and wet Cape Horn passing through the hyperarid Atacama Desert. Rainforests and Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests, tropical dry forests used to encircle much of the northern Andes but are now greatly Deforestation, diminished, especially in the El Chocó, Chocó and inter-Andean valleys of Colombia. Opposite of the humid Andean slopes are the relatively dry Andean slopes in most of western Peru, Chile and Argentina. Along with several Interandean Valles, they are typically dominated by deciduous woodland, shrub and xeric vegetation, reaching the extreme in the slopes near the virtually lifeless Atacama Desert. About 30,000 species of vascular plants live in the Andes, with roughly half being endemism, endemic to the region, surpassing the diversity of any other Biodiversity hotspot, hotspot. The small tree ''Cinchona pubescens'', a source of quinine which is used to treat malaria, is found widely in the Andes as far south as Bolivia. Other important crops that originated from the Andes are tobacco and potatoes. The high-altitude ''Polylepis'' forests and woodlands are found in the Andean areas of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. These trees, by locals referred to as Queñua, Yagual and other names, can be found at altitudes of above sea level. It remains unclear if the patchy distribution of these forests and woodlands is natural, or the result of clearing which began during the Incan period. Regardless, in modern history, modern times the clearance has accelerated, and the trees are now considered to be highly endangered, with some believing that as little as 10% of the original woodland remains.


Fauna

The Andes are rich in fauna: With almost 1,000 species, of which roughly 2/3 are endemism, endemic to the region, the Andes are the most important region in the world for amphibians.Tropical Andes
– biodiversityhotspots.org
The diversity of animals in the Andes is high, with almost 600 species of mammals (13% endemic), more than 1,700 species of birds (about 1/3 endemic), more than 600 species of reptile (about 45% endemic), and almost 400 species of fish (about 1/3 endemic). The vicuña and guanaco can be found living in the Altiplano, while the closely related Domestication, domesticated llama and alpaca are widely kept by locals as pack animals and for their meat and wool. The crepuscular (active during dawn and dusk) chinchillas, two threatened members of the rodent order, inhabit the Andes' alpine regions.Eisenberg, J.F.; & Redford, K.H. (2000). ''Mammals of the Neotropics, Volume 3: The Central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil.'' Eisenberg, J.F.; & Redford, K.H. (1992). ''Mammals of the Neotropics, Volume 2: The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay.'' The Andean condor, the largest bird of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, occurs throughout much of the Andes but generally in very low densities.Fjeldsaa, J.; & Krabbe, N. (1990). ''Birds of the High Andes: A Manual to the Birds of the Temperate Zone of the Andes and Patagonia, South America.'' Other animals found in the relatively open habitats of the high Andes include the Huemul (zoology), huemul, cougar, foxes in the genus ''Pseudalopex'', and, for birds, certain species of tinamous (notably members of the genus ''Nothoprocta''), Andean goose, giant coot, flamingos (mainly associated with hypersaline lakes), lesser rhea, Andean flicker, diademed sandpiper-plover, Geositta, miners, Phrygilus, sierra-finches and Diuca, diuca-finches. Lake Titicaca hosts several endemics, among them the highly endangered Titicaca flightless grebe and Titicaca water frog.Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani and Young, editors (2008). ''Threatened Amphibians of the World.'' A few species of hummingbirds, notably some Oreotrochilus, hillstars, can be seen at altitudes above , but far higher Species richness, diversities can be found at lower altitudes, especially in the humid Andean forests ("cloud forests") growing on slopes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and far northwestern Argentina. These forest-types, which includes the Yungas and parts of the Chocó, are very rich in flora and fauna, although few large mammals exist, exceptions being the threatened mountain tapir, spectacled bear and yellow-tailed woolly monkey. Birds of humid Andean forests include mountain-toucans, quetzals and the Andean cock-of-the-rock, while mixed species flocks dominated by tanagers and furnariids commonly are seen – in contrast to several vocal but typically crypsis, cryptic species of wrens, tapaculos and antpittas. A number of species such as the royal cinclodes and white-browed tit-spinetail are associated with ''Polylepis'', and consequently also threatened.


Human activity

The Andes Mountains form a north–south axis of cultural influences. A long series of cultural development culminated in the expansion of the Inca civilization and
Inca Empire The Inca Empire, also known as Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, and at the time known as the Realm of the Four Parts,,  "four parts together" was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military c ...

Inca Empire
in the central Andes during the 15th century. The Incas formed this civilization through imperialism, imperialistic militarism as well as careful and meticulous governmental management. The government sponsored the construction of Aqueduct (watercourse), aqueducts and roads in addition to preexisting installations. Some of these constructions are still in existence today. Devastated by European diseases to which they had no immunity (medical), immunity and Inca Civil War, civil wars, the Incas were defeated in 1532 by an alliance composed of tens of thousands of allies from nations they had subjugated (e.g. Huanca people, Huancas, Chachapoyas culture, Chachapoyas, Cañaris) and a small army of 180 Spaniards led by Francisco Pizarro. One of the few Inca sites the Spanish never found in their conquest was Machu Picchu, which lay hidden on a peak on the eastern edge of the Andes where they descend to the Amazon. The main surviving languages of the Andean peoples are those of the
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
and Aymara language families. Woodbine Parish and Joseph Barclay Pentland surveyed a large part of the Bolivian Andes from 1826 to 1827.


Cities

In modern times, the largest cities in the Andes are
Bogotá Bogotá (, also , , ), officially Bogotá, Distrito Capital, abbreviated Bogotá, D.C., and formerly known as Santa Fe de Bogotá during the Spanish period and between 1991 and 2000, is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Colombia, a ...

Bogotá
, with a population of about eight million, and Santiago,
Medellín Medellín ( or ), officially the Municipality of Medellín ( es, Municipio de Medellín), is the second-largest city in Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of ...

Medellín
,
Cali Santiago de Cali (), or Cali, is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department Valle del Cauca, or Cauca Valley (), is a department of Western Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia (), is a country in South Am ...

Cali
, and
Quito Quito (; ; qu, Kitu; formally San Francisco de Quito) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more ...

Quito
. Lima is a coastal city adjacent to the Andes and is the largest city of all Andean countries. It is the seat of the Andean Community of Nations.
La Paz La Paz (), officially known as Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: Help:IPA/Spanish, nwes.tɾa seˈɲoɾa ðe la pas ''English: Our Lady of Peace''), and also Chuqi Yapu in Aymara language, Aymara, is the seat of government ...

La Paz
,
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
's seat of government, is the highest capital city in the world, at an elevation of approximately . Parts of the La Paz conurbation, including the city of
El Alto El Alto (Spanish for "The Heights") is the second-largest city in Bolivia, located adjacent to La Paz in Pedro Domingo Murillo Province on the Altiplano highlands. El Alto is today one of Bolivia's fastest-growing urban centers, with an estimate ...

El Alto
, extend up to . Other cities in or near the Andes include Bariloche, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Catamarca, San Salvador de Jujuy, Jujuy, Mendoza, Argentina, Mendoza, Salta, Argentina, Salta, San Juan, Argentina, San Juan, and San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán in Argentina; Calama, Chile, Calama and Rancagua in Chile; Cochabamba, Oruro, Bolivia, Oruro, Potosí,
Sucre Sucre () is the constitutional capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and ...

Sucre
, Sacaba, Tarija, and Yacuiba in Bolivia;
Arequipa Arequipa (; Aymara and qu, Ariqipa) is a city located in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territoria ...

Arequipa
, Cajamarca, Cusco, Huancayo, Huánuco, Huaraz, Juliaca, and Puno in Peru; Ambato, Ecuador, Ambato, Cuenca, Ecuador, Cuenca, Ibarra, Ecuador, Ibarra, Latacunga, Loja, Ecuador, Loja, Riobamba and Tulcán in Ecuador; Armenia, Colombia, Armenia, Cúcuta,
Bucaramanga Bucaramanga () is the capital and largest city of the department of Santander, Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia (), is a country in South America with Insular region of Colombia, territories in North America. C ...

Bucaramanga
, Duitama, Ibagué, Ipiales, Manizales, Palmira, Valle del Cauca, Palmira, Pasto, Colombia, Pasto, Pereira, Colombia, Pereira, Popayán, Sogamoso, Tunja, and Villavicencio in Colombia; and Barquisimeto, La Grita, Mérida, San Cristóbal, Táchira, San Cristóbal, Tovar, Trujillo, Trujillo, Trujillo, and Valera in Venezuela. The cities of Caracas, Valencia, Carabobo, Valencia, and Maracay are in the Venezuelan Coastal Range, which is a debatable extension of the Andes at the northern extremity of South America.


Transportation

Cities and large towns are connected with asphalt-paved roads, while smaller towns are often connected by dirt roads, which may require a four-wheel-drive vehicle.Andes travel map
/ref> The rough terrain has historically put the costs of building highways and railroads that cross the Andes out of reach of most neighboring countries, even with modern civil engineering practices. For example, the main crossover of the Andes between Argentina and Chile is still accomplished through the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores. Only recently the ends of some highways that came rather close to one another from the east and the west have been connected. Much of the transportation of passengers is done via aircraft. However, there is one railroad that connects Chile with Peru via the Andes, and there are others that make the same connection via southern Bolivia. See railroad maps of that region. There are multiple highways in Bolivia that cross the Andes. Some of these were built during a Chaco War, period of war between Bolivia and Paraguay, in order to transport Bolivian troops and their supplies to the war front in the lowlands of southeastern Bolivia and western Paraguay. For decades, Chile claimed ownership of land on the eastern side of the Andes. However, these claims were given up in about 1870 during the War of the Pacific between Chile, the allied Bolivia and Peru, in a diplomatic deal to keep Peru out of the war. The Chilean Army and Chilean Navy defeated the combined forces of Bolivia and Peru, and Chile took over Bolivia's only province on the Pacific Coast, some land from Peru that was returned to Peru decades later. Bolivia has been a completely landlocked country ever since. It mostly uses seaports in eastern Argentina and Uruguay for international trade because its diplomatic relations with Chile have been suspended since 1978. Because of the tortuous terrain in places, villages and towns in the mountains—to which travel via motorized vehicles is of little use—are still located in the high Andes of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
. Locally, the relatives of the camel, the llama, and the alpaca continue to carry out important uses as pack animals, but this use has generally diminished in modern times. Donkeys, mules, and horses are also useful.


Agriculture

The ancient peoples of the Andes such as the Incas have practiced irrigation techniques for over 6,000 years. Because of the mountain slopes, Andén, terracing has been a common practice. Terracing, however, was only extensively employed after Incan imperial expansions to fuel their expanding realm. The potato holds a very important role as an internally consumed staple crop. Maize was also an important crop for these people, and was used for the production of chicha, important to Andean native people. Currently, tobacco, cotton and coffee are the main export crops. Coca, despite eradication programmes in some countries, remains an important crop for legal local use in a mildly stimulating herbal tea, and, both controversially and illegally, for the production of cocaine.


Irrigation

In unirrigated land, pasture is the most common type of land use. In the rainy season (summer), part of the rangeland is used for cropping (mainly potatoes, barley, broad beans and wheat). Irrigation is helpful in advancing the sowing data of the summer crops which guarantees an early yield in the period of food shortage. Also, by early sowing, maize can be cultivated higher up in the mountains (up to ). In addition it makes cropping in the dry season (winter) possible and allows the cultivation of frost resistant vegetable crops like onion and carrot.


Mining

The Andes rose to fame for their mineral wealth during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, Spanish conquest of South America. Although Andean Amerindian peoples crafted ceremonial jewelry of gold and other metals, the Mineralization (geology), mineralizations of the Andes were first mined on a large scale after the Spanish arrival. Potosí in present-day
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
and Cerro de Pasco in Peru was one of the principal mines of the Spanish Empire in the New World. Río de la Plata and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
derive their names from the silver of Potosí. Currently, mining in the Andes of
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
and
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
places these countries as the first and third major producers of copper in the world.
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
also contains the 4th largest goldmine in the world: the Yanacocha. The Bolivian Andes produce principally tin although historically silver mining had a huge impact on the Price revolution, economy of 17th century Europe. There is a long history of mining in the Andes, from the Spanish silver Mining, mines in Potosí in the 16th century to the vast current porphyry copper deposits of Chuquicamata and Escondida in Chile and Toquepala mine, Toquepala in Peru. Other metals including iron, gold, and tin in addition to non-metallic resources are important.


Peaks

This list contains some of the major peaks in the Andes mountain range. The highest peak is Aconcagua of Argentina (see below).


Argentina

*
Aconcagua Aconcagua () is a mountain in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mountain range i ...

Aconcagua
, * Cerro Bonete, * Galán, * Mercedario, * Monte Pissis, Pissis,


Border between Argentina and Chile

* Cerro Bayo Complex, Cerro Bayo, * Cerro Fitz Roy, or 3,405 m,
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convent ...

Patagonia
, also known as Cerro Chaltén * Cerro Escorial, * Cordón del Azufre, * Falso Azufre, * Incahuasi, * Lastarria, *
Llullaillaco Llullaillaco () is a dormant stratovolcano A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical A cone is a three-dimensional space, three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base (frequently, though ...

Llullaillaco
, * Maipo (volcano), Maipo, * Marmolejo, *
Ojos del Salado Nevado Ojos del Salado is an active stratovolcano A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic as ...

Ojos del Salado
, * Olca, * Sierra Nevada de Lagunas Bravas, * Socompa, * Nevado Tres Cruces, (south summit) (III Region) * Tronador, * Tupungato, * Cerro del Nacimiento, Nacimiento,


Bolivia

* Janq'u Uma, * Cabaraya, * Chacaltaya, * Huayna Potosí, Wayna Potosí, * Illampu, * Illimani, * Macizo de Larancagua, Laram Q'awa, * Macizo de Pacuni, * Nevado Anallajsi, * Nevado Sajama, * Patilla Pata, * Tata Sabaya,


Border between Bolivia and Chile

* Acotango, * Cerro Minchincha, Michincha, * Iru Phutunqu (Chile-Nor Lípez), Iru Phutunqu, * Licancabur, * Olca, * Parinacota Volcano, Parinacota, * Paruma, * Pomerape,


Chile

* Monte San Valentin, * Cordillera del Paine, Cerro Paine Grande, * Cerro Macá, c. * Monte Darwin, c. * Volcan Hudson, c. * Cerro Castillo Dynevor, c. * Mount Tarn, c. * Polleras, c. * Acamarachi, c.


Colombia

* Nevado del Huila, * Nevado del Ruiz, * Nevado del Tolima, * Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Pico Pan de Azúcar, * Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Ritacuba Negro, * Cumbal Volcano, Nevado del Cumbal, * Cerro Negro de Mayasquer, * Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Ritacuba Blanco, * Nevado del Quindío, * Puracé, * Santa Isabel (volcano), Santa Isabel, * Doña Juana, * Galeras, * Azufral.


Ecuador

* Antisana, * Cayambe (volcano), Cayambe, * Chiles (volcano), Chiles, *
Chimborazo Chimborazo () is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, long ...
, * Corazón (volcano), Corazón, * Cotopaxi, * El Altar, * Illiniza, * Pichincha Volcano, Pichincha, * Quilotoa, * Reventador, * Sangay, * Tungurahua,


Peru

* Alpamayo, * Artesonraju, * Carnicero, * Chumpe, * Coropuna, * El Misti, * El Toro (Andes), El Toro, * Huandoy, * Huascarán, * Jirishanca, * Pumasillo, * Rasac, * Rondoy, * Sarapo, * Salcantay, * Seria Norte, * Siula Grande, * Huaytapallana, * Yerupaja, * Yerupaja Chico,


Venezuela

* Pico Bolívar, * Pico Humboldt, * Pico Bonpland, * Pico La Concha, * Pico Piedras Blancas, * Pico El Águila, * Pico El Toro * Pico El León * Pico Mucuñuque


See also

* ''Andean Geology''—a scientific journal * Andesite line * Apu (god) * Cordillera Central (Luzon), Cordillera Mountains in the Philippines * List of mountain ranges * List of longest mountain chains on Earth * Template:Mountain Passes of the Andes, Mountain Passes of the Andes * Rocky Mountains


Notes


References

* * Biggar, J. (2005). ''The Andes: A Guide For Climbers''. 3rd. edition. Andes: Kirkcudbrightshire. * de Roy, T. (2005). ''The Andes: As the Condor Flies.'' Firefly books: Richmond Hill. * Fjeldså, J. & N. Krabbe (1990). ''The Birds of the High Andes.'' Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen: * Fjeldså, J. & M. Kessler (1996). ''Conserving the biological diversity of Polylepis woodlands of the highlands on Peru and Bolivia, a contribution to sustainable natural resource management in the Andes.'' NORDECO: Copenhagen.


Bibliography

* *


External links


University of Arizona: Andes geology



Discover-peru.org: Regions and Microclimates in the Andes


{{Authority control Andes, Mountain ranges of South America Ecology of the Andes, * Regions of South America Physiographic divisions