South America is located on the South American Plate, which also includes the ocean floor of the South Atlantic up to the ridge of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The seabed spread here leads the plate westward toward an east-sloping subduction zone off the west coast of South America, where the advancing and faster Nazca plate sinks beneath the volcanically and seismically active Andean mountains. Off the coast of South Chile, the spreading ridge south of the Nazca plate and parts of the Antarctic plate are brought down into the subduction zone; see plate tectonics.
The South American Plate emerged as an independent record during the breakup of the Gondwana continent, as a Jurassic rift zone for ca. 150-200 million years ago, South America split from Africa and seabed diversion began. Therefore, the continental slopes have the same course in the two continents, and layer series set aside before the separation show great similarities. It initially gave rise to the theory of continental drift. During the rift stage, diamond-bearing kimberlite rocks were also formed in both continents. While South America was still part of Gondwana, other Pacific oceanic plates were brought down into the subduction zone west of South America, and a primitive, magmatic arch of the upper plate was formed, depositing material from the archipelago as thick turbidity sequences in front of the continent. These first volcanic “Andean mountains” rested on the oceanic crust. However, conditions changed for approx. 100 million years ago, when intensified seabed dispersal in the South Atlantic increased the plate’s west drift. Large amounts of andesitic magma thus rose from the subduction zone, the volcanism increased, forming batholiths and a thick continent crust. This caused the tectonic tensions to be released along the Andes Mountains east coast. The crust beneath the eastern foreland was deflected to the west, and eastward surplus covers were developed in the Precordillas and a centertiary folding and surplus belt.
The rest of South America includes several sediment basins, platforms and bedrock shields. The deep basins facing the Andes as well as the Amazon, Parnaibo and Paraná basins are filled with thick post-Triassic lava and sediment sequences. The older platform sediments from Silur-Trias, like the Gondwana deposits in Africa, include early Silur and Late Carbon deposits, shales with plant fossils from the Glossopteris flora and freshwater strata with mesosaos. The Southern Patagonian Platform is believed to have hercynically folded foundations. The bedrock of Precambrian South America, Amazonia, is devoid of the Guyana Shield, the Central Brazilian Shield and the Atlantic Shield. Here occurred between 3200 and 550 million. years ago at least five orogeneses.
South America has significant mineral deposits. In the Andes, gold, silver, copper, tin, zinc, coal and salt are extracted. The sediment basins have oil and gas deposits as well as bauxite and kaolinite beds. In the bedrock, among other things, ribbon iron ore (BIF), gold and gemstones. Brazil was, until 1840, the world’s largest diamond producer; then it became South Africa.
|Country||Main export goods||Largest trading partner|
|Argentina||agricultural products (animal feed, meat, soybean oil, cereals), vehicles||Brazil, China, USA, Chile, Germany|
|Bolivia||natural gas, minerals (zinc, silver, tin, gold), soy and soy products, oil||Brazil, Argentina, USA, China, Japan|
|Brazil||transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, shoes, coffee, cars||China, USA, Argentina, EU countries|
|Chile||copper, fruit, wines, vegetables, fishmeal, salmon, wood, paper, pulp, frozen agricultural products, soft drinks, electrical equipment||USA, Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea|
|Colombia||oil, charcoal briquettes, coffee, gold, cut flowers||USA, China, Mexico, Brazil|
|Ecuador||oil and oil products, shellfish and fish, bananas||USA, China, Colombia, Vietnam, Chile|
|Guyana||gold, bauxite, rice, shrimp and fish, sugar||USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, UK|
|Paraguay||electricity, soybeans and soy products, meat, cereals (2016)||Brazil, China, Argentina (2016)|
|Peru||copper, gold, oil and oil products, agricultural products and fish||China, USA|
|Suriname||bauxite, aluminum, rice||USA, Netherlands, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago|
|Uruguay||beef, cellulose, soybeans, dairy products||China, Brazil, Argentina, USA|
|Venezuela||crude oil and oil products||USA, China, Colombia, Brazil|
Underdevelopment in Latin America
The factors that led Latin countries to be underdeveloped are historical conditions, according to Countryaah.
The Latin rural space
The contrasts of the Latin American agrarian space are caused mainly by the technological disparity, this refers to the existence of two rural classes, a portion that has all the technological apparatus and another that has rudimentary production practices, another point in common among Latin countries is land concentration, in which a limited portion of the population owns large rural areas and, finally, all Latin nations are producers of monoculture, which is a legacy of the colony.
Medium and small farms are responsible for producing products for the domestic market, generally these properties have a low productivity, while landowners have a high productivity due to the degree of technology used in the property, their production is destined for the international market. (export).
As for the concentration of land, it occurred in the colonial period in the territorial formation when the distribution of immense rural properties was carried out. Due to land concentration, several problems have occurred, such as expropriation, land reform and collection of agricultural policy.
Land issue and land reform in Latin America
Well-done agrarian reform can promote social stability, improve the quality of life, generate jobs, fix the worker in the field, reducing poverty and violence.
Agrarian reform has not been brought about by political influence, this occurs when parliamentarians are representatives of the ruralist bench and therefore they are unlikely to support this reform for hurting their interests. The lack of an efficient agrarian policy has led to movements of struggle for land tenure, a clear example of this is the MST (Movement of Landless Rural Workers).
Leaving the countryside and going to the city, the similarities between the urbanization characteristics of the countries that make up Latin America are notorious. From the twentieth century, the process of rural exodus began, that is, the departure of people from the countryside to the cities, this greatly increased the number of people in urban centers. The urbanization process occurred mainly due to industrial development, modernization of the countryside, natural growth causing the process of metropolization. Check Allcitypopulation to get a full list of major cities by population in South America.
However, the process of urbanization and metropolization is exclusive, urbanization is disordered and causes social exclusion in cities (areas of rich and poor), the failure to generate enough jobs, the increase in the informal sector, the state’s omission is clear.