Central Chile

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Natural regions of Chile.
Nevado de Longavi is one of many volcanoes that rise out of the Andes in Central Chile. Nevados del longavi.JPG
Nevado de Longaví is one of many volcanoes that rise out of the Andes in Central Chile.

Central Chile (Zona central) is one of the five natural regions into which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950. It is home to a majority of the Chilean population and includes the three largest metropolitan areas—Santiago, Valparaíso, and Concepción. It extends from 32° south latitude to 37° south latitude.

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Geography

Central Chile is one of the five main geographical zones in which Chile is divided. The Chilean Central Valley lies between the Coastal range ("Cordillera de la Costa") and the Andes Mountains. To the north is the semi-desert region known as El Norte Chico, (the "little north"), which lies between 28° and 32° south latitude. To the south lies the cooler and wetter Valdivian temperate rain forests ecoregion, in Los Lagos Region; (the latter includes most of South America's temperate rain forests). The Central valley is a fertile region and the agricultural heartland of Chile.

Climate

Endangered Chilean Wine Palms in La Campana National Park Palmar de Ocoa, Chile.jpg
Endangered Chilean Wine Palms in La Campana National Park
Quillota, Renaca, Pichidangui , Aconcagua Valley SRTM-W71.70E69.90S33.00N32.00.Quillota.png
Quillota, Reñaca, Pichidangui , Aconcagua Valley
Valparaiso,Talagante, Santiago, San Antonio SRTM-W72.00E69.70S34.00N33.00.Talagante.png
Valparaiso,Talagante, Santiago, San Antonio
Chimbarongo, Rancagua SRTM-W72.30E69.70S35.00N34.00.Chimbarongo.png
Chimbarongo, Rancagua

The climate is of the temperate Mediterranean type, with the amount of rainfall increasing considerably and progressively from north to south. In the Santiago area, the average monthly temperatures are about 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer months of January and February and 15 °C (59 °F) in the winter months of June and July. The average monthly precipitation is no more than a trace in January and February and 69.7 millimetres (2.74 in) in June and July. By contrast, in Concepción the average monthly temperatures are somewhat lower in the summer at 17.6 °C (63.7 °F) but higher in the winter at 9.3 °C (48.7 °F), and the amount of rain is much greater. In the summer, Concepción receives an average of twenty millimeters of rain per month; in June and July, the city is pounded by an average of 253 millimetres (10.0 in) per month. The numerous rivers greatly increase their flow as a result of the winter rains and the spring melting of the Andean snows, and they contract considerably in the summer. The combination of abundant snow in the Andes and relatively moderate winter temperatures creates excellent conditions for Alpine skiing.

The annual mean temperature in Santiago is 57 °F (14 °C). The temperate action of the ocean prevents temperatures from dropping drastically, and if snow falls in the area it does not usually stay on the ground for more than a few hours.

In Santiago the annual rainfall is 13 inches (330 mm) and in Valparaíso, it amounts to 15 inches (380 mm). Along the Central Valley rainfall increases gradually southward until it reaches 52 inches (1,300 mm) in Concepción.

Topography

Talca, Linares SRTM-W73.00E70.00S36.00N35.00.Talca.png
Talca, Linares
Chillan, Tome SRTM-W73.30E70.33S37.00N36.00.Chillan.png
Chillán, Tomé
Nascimiento, Concepcion, Los Angeles SRTM-W74.00E71.00S38.00N37.00.Nacimiento.png
Nascimiento, Concepción, Los Angeles
Temuco, Puerto Saavedra, Isla Mocha SRTM-W74.00E70.70S39.00N38.00.Temuco.png
Temuco, Puerto Saavedra, Isla Mocha

The topography of central Chile includes a coastal range of mountains running parallel to the Andes. Lying between the two mountain ranges is the so-called Central Valley, which contains some of the richest agricultural land in the country, especially in its northern portion. The area just north and south of Santiago is a large producer of fruits, including the grapes from which the best Chilean wines are made. Exports of fresh fruit began to rise dramatically in the mid-1970s because Chilean growers had the advantage of being able to reach markets in the Northern Hemisphere during that part of the world's winter. Most of these exports, such as grapes, apples, and peaches, go by refrigerator ships, but some, such as berries, go by air freight.

The southern portion of central Chile contains a mixture of some excellent agricultural lands, many of which were covered originally with old-growth forests. They were cleared for agriculture but were soon exhausted of their organic matter and left to erode. Large tracts of this worn-out land, many of them on hilly terrain, have been reforested for the lumber, especially for the cellulose and paper industries. New investments during the 1980s in these industries transformed the rural economy of the region. The pre-Andean highlands and some of the taller and more massive mountains in the coastal range (principally the Cordillera de Nahuelbuta) still contain large tracts of old-growth forests of remarkable beauty, some of which have been set aside as national parks. Between the coastal mountains and the ocean, many areas of central Chile contain stretches of land that are lower than the Central Valley and are generally quite flat. The longest beaches can be found in such sections.

Demography and economy

Many of Chile's vineyards are found on flat land within the foothills of the Andes. Chilean vineyard in Andes foothills.jpg
Many of Chile's vineyards are found on flat land within the foothills of the Andes.

The following regions are traditionally considered as being part of Chile's central Valley:

Historically, the Central valley has been the heartland of the country with the highest concentration of population (two thirds of the country's population) and, in addition, the area where the greater proportion of the economic productivity of the country is concentrated. Its economy is characterized by its diversity and the strongest pillars lie in the use of natural resources, through the copper mining, logging, agriculture and wine producing, fishing, and manufacturing sector.

The main cities are: Santiago, Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Quilpué, Villa Alemana, Quillota, Puente Alto, San Antonio, Melipilla, Rancagua, Curicó, Talca, Linares, Chillán, Concepción, Talcahuano, Coronel and Los Ángeles.

Coordinates: 35°20′07″S70°43′48″W / 35.33529°S 70.72998°W / -35.33529; -70.72998

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The geography of Chile is extremely diverse as the country extends from a latitude of 17° South to Cape Horn at 56° and from the ocean on the west to Andes on the east. Chile is situated in southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean and a small part of the South Atlantic Ocean. Chile's territorial shape is among the world's most unusual. From north to south, Chile extends 4,270 km (2,653 mi), and yet it only averages 177 km (110 mi) east to west. Chile reaches from the middle of South America's west coast straight down to the southern tip of the continent, where it curves slightly eastward. Diego Ramírez Islands and Cape Horn, the southernmost points in the Americas, where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet, are Chilean territory. Chile's northern neighbors are Peru and Bolivia, and its border with Argentina to the east, at 5,150 km (3,200 mi), is the world's third-longest. The total land size is 756,102 km2 (291,933 sq mi). The very long coastline of 6,435 km (3,999 mi) gives it the 11th largest exclusive economic zone of 3,648,532 km2 (1,408,706 sq mi).

Santiago Metropolitan Region Region of Chile

Santiago Metropolitan Region is one of Chile's 16 first-order administrative divisions. It is the country's only landlocked administrative region and contains the nation's capital, Santiago. Most commercial and administrative centers are located in the region, including Chile's main international airport, Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport.

Rain shadow

A rain shadow is a dry area on the leeward side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a "shadow" of dryness behind them. Wind and moist air are drawn by the prevailing winds towards the top of the mountains, where it condenses and precipitates before it crosses the top. The air, without much moisture left, advances across the mountains creating a drier side called the "rain shadow".

Valdivian temperate rain forest type of rainforest

The Valdivian temperate forests (NT0404) is an ecoregion on the west coast of southern South America, in Chile and extending into Argentina. It is part of the Neotropical realm. The forests are named after the city of Valdivia. The Valdivian temperate rainforests are characterized by their dense understories of bamboos, ferns, and for being mostly dominated by evergreen angiosperm trees with some deciduous specimens, though conifer trees are also common.

Chilean wine Wine from Chile

Chilean wine has a long history for a New World wine region, as it was the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries grew from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005.

Temperate rainforest Forests in the temperate zone with heavy rainfall

Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive heavy rainfall.

<i>Nothofagus pumilio</i> Species of plant

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Argentine Northwest

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Chilean Coast Range mountain range that runs from north to south along the Pacific coast of South America parallel to the Andean Mountains

The Chilean Coastal Range is a mountain range that runs from north to south along the Pacific coast of South America parallel to the Andean Mountains, extending from Morro de Arica in the north to Taitao Peninsula, where it ends at the Chile Triple Junction, in the south. The range has a strong influence on the climate of Chile since it produces a rain shadow to the east. Because of this the vegetation growing on the seaward slopes is much more exuberant than in the interior. Compared to the coastal lowlands and the Intermediate Depression, it is sparsely populated with land use varying from protected areas to grazing and silviculture. The range is present in all Chilean regions, except for Coquimbo Region and Magallanes Region.

Norte Grande

The Norte Grande is one of the five natural regions into which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950. It borders Peru to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Altiplano, Bolivia and Argentina to the east, and the Copiapó River to the south, beyond which lies the Norte Chico natural region.

Norte Chico, Chile

The Norte Chico is one of the five natural regions into which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950. Its northern border is formed by the limit with the Far North, to the west lies the Pacific Ocean, to the east the Andes mountains and Argentina, and to the south the Zona Central natural region. Although from a strictly geographic point of view, this natural region corresponds to the Chilean territory between the rivers Copiapó and Aconcagua, traditionally the Norte Chico refers to the zone comprising the regions of Atacama and Coquimbo. This region was home to the Diaguita people.

Zona Sur

The Zona Sur is one of the five natural regions on which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950. Its northern border is formed by the Bío-Bío River, the limit with the Central Chile Zone. By west with the Pacific Ocean, by the east with the Andean mountains and Argentina. Its southern border is the Chacao Channel, beyond it lies the Austral Zone. While Chiloé Archipelago belongs geographically to Zona Austral in terms of culture and history it lies closer to Zona Sur.

Zona Austral geographical region of Chile

The Zona Austral is one of the five natural regions into which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950 corresponding to the Chilean portion of Patagonia. It is surrounded by the Zona Sur and the Chacao Channel to the north, the Pacific Ocean and Drake's Passage to the south and west, and the Andean mountains and Argentina to the east. If excluding Chiloé Archipelago Zona Austral covers all of Chilean Patagonia.

Natural regions of Chile

Because Chile extends from a point about 625 kilometers north of the Tropic of Capricorn to a point hardly more than 1,400 kilometers north of the Antarctic Circle, within its territory can be found a broad selection of the Earth's climates.

Climate of Chile

The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalizations difficult. According to the Köppen system, Chile within its borders hosts at least seven major climatic subtypes, ranging from low desert in the north, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and southeast, tropical rainforest in Easter Island, Oceanic in the south and Mediterranean climate in central Chile. There are four seasons in most of the country: summer, autumn, winter, and spring.

Agriculture in Chile

Agriculture in Chile encompasses a wide range of different activities due to its particular geography, climate, geology and human factors. Historically agriculture is one of the bases of Chile's economy, now agriculture and allied sectors—like forestry, logging and fishing—account only for 4.9% of the GDP as of 2007 and employed 13.6% of the country's labor force. Some major agricultural products of Chile include grapes, apples, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool, fish and timber. Due to its geographical isolation and strict customs policies, Chile is free from diseases such as Mad Cow, fruit fly and Phylloxera, this plus being located in the southern hemisphere and its wide range of agriculture conditions are considered Chile's main comparative advantages. However, the mountainous landscape of Chile limits the extent and intensity of agriculture so that arable land corresponds only to 2.62% of the total territory.

Chilean Matorral Terrestrial ecoregion of central Chile

The Chilean Matorral (NT1201) is a terrestrial ecoregion of central Chile, located on the west coast of South America. It is in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome, part of the Neotropical realm.

Climatic regions of Argentina from the northly hot subtropical region to the southerly cold subantartic region.

Due to its vast size and range of altitudes, Argentina possesses a wide variety of climatic regions, ranging from the hot subtropical region in the north to the cold subantarctic in the far south. Lying between those is the Pampas region, featuring a mild and humid climate. Many regions have different, often contrasting, microclimates. In general, Argentina has four main climate types: warm, moderate, arid, and cold in which the relief features, and the latitudinal extent of the country, determine the different varieties within the main climate types.