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The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, about 200 km (120 mi) to 700 km (430 mi) wide (widest between 18 degrees South and 20 degrees South latitude), and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft).

Along its length, the Andes is split intoseveral ranges, which are separated by intermediate depressions. The Andes is the location of several high plateaux – some of which host major cities such as Quito, Bogotá, Arequipa, Medellín, Sucre, and La Paz.

The so-called Altiplano plateau is the world's second-highest plateau following the Tibetan plateau. The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries;Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

The Andes range is the world's highest mountain range outside of the continent of Asia. The highest peak, Mt. Aconcagua, rises to an elevation of about 6,962 m (22,841 ft) above sea level. The peak of Chimborazo in the Ecuadorean Andes is farther from the centre of the Earth than any other location on the Earth's surface. This is becauseof the equatorial bulge that results from the Earth's rotation. The world's highest volcanoes are in the Andes, including Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina frontier which rises to 6,893 m (22,615 ft), and over 50 other volcanoes that rise above 6,000 m.

1 Name
2 Geography
3 Geology
3.1 Orogeny
3.2 Volcanism
3.3 Ore deposits andevaporites
4 Climate and hydrology
5 Flora
6 Fauna
7 Human activity
7.1 Transportation
7.2 Agriculture
7.3 Mining
8 Peaks
8.1 Argentina
8.2 Border between Argentina and Chile
8.3 Bolivia
8.4 Border between Bolivia and Chile
8.5 Chile
8.6 Colombia
8.7 Ecuador
8.8 Peru8.9 Venezuela
9 See also
10 Notes
11 References
12 External links

[edit] Name

The etymology of the word Andes has been debated. The major consensus is that it derives from the Quechua word anti, which means "high crest". Others believe that Andes comes from Anti Suyu, one of the four regions of the Inca empire. It is more likely however that the word Antisuyo derives fromthe use of Anti to designate mountain chains. Derivation from the Spanish andén (in the sense of cultivation terrace) has also been proposed, yet considered very unlikely.
[edit] Geography
Aerial view of Aconcagua.

The Andes can be divided into three sections:

I. The Southern Andes in Argentina and Chile;
II. The Central Andes, including the Chilean and Peruvian cordilleras and parts ofBolivia;
III. The Northern Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador that consists of two parallel ranges, the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental. In Colombia, north of its the border with Ecuador, the Andes split in three parallel ranges, the western, central, and eastern ranges. (The cordillera occidental, central, and oriental).

In the northern part of the Andes, the isolatedSierra Nevada de Santa Marta range is often considered to be part of the Andes. The eastern range of Colombia is the only one that extends to Venezuela.[1] The term cordillera comes from the Spanish word "cuerda", meaning "rope". The Andes range is about 200 km (124 mi) wide throughout its length, except in the Bolivian flexure where it is about 640 kilometres (398 mi) wide. The islands of theDutch Caribbean Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, which lie in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela, were 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.[2]
[edit] Geology
Geology of...
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