Pampas

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Coordinates: 35°S62°W / 35°S 62°W / -35; -62

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Pampas
Natural region
SerraGeralI.jpg
Landscape in the Pampas at eye level. Brazil
Map for the Pampas region.svg
Approximate location and borders of the Pampas encompassing the southeastern area of South America bordering the Atlantic Ocean
CountriesFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Elevation
160 m (520 ft)
Population
  Total43,909,235

The Pampas (from the Quechua : pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South American low grasslands that cover more than 1,200,000 square kilometres (460,000 sq mi) and include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and Córdoba; all of Uruguay; and Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul. The vast plains are a natural region, interrupted only by the low Ventana and Tandil hills, near Bahía Blanca and Tandil (Argentina), with a height of 1,300 m (4,265 ft) and 500 m (1,640 ft), respectively.

The climate is temperate, with precipitation of 600 to 1,200 mm (23.6 to 47.2 in) that is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture. The area is also one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger ParanáParaguay plain division.

Topography

This region has generally low elevations, whose highest levels do not exceed 600 metres (1,970 feet) in altitude. The coastal areas and most of the Buenos Aires Province are predominantly plain (with some wetlands) and the interior areas (mainly in the southern part of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay) have low ranges of hills (like Serras de Sudeste in Brazil and Cuchilla Grande in Uruguay). Low hills covered by grasslands are called coxilhas (Portuguese pronunciation:  [ko'ʃiʎɐs]) in Portuguese and cuchillas (Spanish pronunciation:  [ku'tʃiʃɐs]) in Spanish, and it is the most typical landscape of the countryside areas in the northern parts of the Pampas. The highest elevations of the Pampas region are found in the Sierra de la Ventana mountains, in the southern part of Buenos Aires Province, with 1,239 m (4,065 ft) at the summit of Cerro Tres Picos.

Climates

The climate of the Pampas is generally temperate, gradually giving way to a more humid subtropical climate in the north (Cfa, according to the Köppen climate classification); a cold semi-arid climate (BSk) on the southern and western fringes (like San Luis Province, western La Pampa Province and southern Buenos Aires Province); and an oceanic climate (Cfb) in the southeastern part (in the regions of Mar del Plata, Tandil and the Sierra de la Ventana mountains, Argentina). Summer temperatures are more uniform than winter temperatures, generally ranging from 28 to 33 °C (82 to 91 °F) during the day. However, most cities in the Pampas occasionally have high temperatures that push 38 °C (100 °F), as occurs when warm, dry, northerly winds blow from southern Brazil, northern Argentina or Paraguay. Autumn arrives gradually in March and peaks in April and May. In April, highs range from 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F) and lows from 9 to 13 °C (48 to 55 °F). The first frosts arrive in mid-April in the south and late May or early June in the north.

Coxilhas (low hills covered by grasslands) in Morro Redondo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil Coxilhas.jpg
Coxilhas (low hills covered by grasslands) in Morro Redondo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Winters are generally mild, but cold waves often occur. Typical temperatures range from 12 to 19 °C (54 to 66 °F) during the day, and from 1 to 6 °C (34 to 43 °F) at night. With strong northerly winds, days of over 25 °C (77 °F) can be recorded almost everywhere, and during cold waves, high temperatures can be only 6 °C (43 °F). Frost occurs everywhere in the Pampas, but it is much more frequent in the southwest than around the Parana and Uruguay Rivers. Temperatures under −5 °C (23 °F) can occur everywhere, but values of −10 °C (14 °F) or lower are confined to the south and west. Snow almost never falls in the northernmost third and is rare and light elsewhere, except for exceptional events in which depths have reached 30 cm (12 in). Springs are very variable; it is warmer than fall in most areas (especially in the west) but significantly colder along the Atlantic. Violent storms are more common as well as wide temperature variations: days of 35 °C (95 °F) can give way to nights of under 5 °C (41 °F) or even frost, all within only a few days.

Precipitation ranges from 1,400 millimetres (55 in) in the northeast to about 400 millimetres (16 in) or less in the southern and western edges. It is highly seasonal in the West, with some places recording averages of 120 mm (4.7 in) monthly in the summer, and only 20 millimeters (0.8 in) monthly in the winter. The eastern areas have small peaks in the fall and the spring, with relatively rainy summers and winters that are only slightly drier. However, where summer rain falls as short, heavy storms, winter rain falls mostly as cold drizzle, and so the amount of rainy days is fairly constant. Very intense thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer, and it has among the most frequent lightning and highest convective cloud tops in the world. [1] [2] The severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms, both floods and flash floods, and the most consistently active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US. [3]

Climate charts

Climate charts for different locations of the Pampas:

Bagé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (1981-2010)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
125
 
 
30
18
 
 
131
 
 
29
18
 
 
103
 
 
28
17
 
 
161
 
 
24
14
 
 
151
 
 
20
11
 
 
132
 
 
17
9
 
 
132
 
 
17
8
 
 
106
 
 
19
9
 
 
111
 
 
20
10
 
 
130
 
 
23
13
 
 
119
 
 
26
15
 
 
113
 
 
29
17
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: INMET
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
4.9
 
 
85
65
 
 
5.1
 
 
83
64
 
 
4
 
 
82
62
 
 
6.4
 
 
75
57
 
 
5.9
 
 
68
52
 
 
5.2
 
 
63
47
 
 
5.2
 
 
63
46
 
 
4.2
 
 
67
48
 
 
4.4
 
 
68
50
 
 
5.1
 
 
74
55
 
 
4.7
 
 
79
58
 
 
4.5
 
 
84
62
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Buenos Aires, Argentina (1981-2010)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
139
 
 
30
20
 
 
127
 
 
29
19
 
 
140
 
 
27
18
 
 
119
 
 
23
14
 
 
92
 
 
19
11
 
 
59
 
 
16
8
 
 
61
 
 
15
7
 
 
64
 
 
18
9
 
 
72
 
 
19
10
 
 
127
 
 
23
13
 
 
117
 
 
26
16
 
 
119
 
 
29
18
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (Argentina)
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
5.5
 
 
86
68
 
 
5
 
 
84
67
 
 
5.5
 
 
80
64
 
 
4.7
 
 
73
57
 
 
3.6
 
 
67
51
 
 
2.3
 
 
61
47
 
 
2.4
 
 
60
45
 
 
2.5
 
 
64
48
 
 
2.8
 
 
67
51
 
 
5
 
 
73
56
 
 
4.6
 
 
78
61
 
 
4.7
 
 
83
65
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Punta del Este, Uruguay (1961-1990)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
75
 
 
25
18
 
 
85
 
 
25
18
 
 
79
 
 
24
18
 
 
84
 
 
21
15
 
 
91
 
 
18
12
 
 
80
 
 
15
10
 
 
90
 
 
14
9
 
 
94
 
 
15
9
 
 
93
 
 
16
10
 
 
85
 
 
18
11
 
 
87
 
 
21
14
 
 
67
 
 
24
16
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: WMO
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
3
 
 
77
65
 
 
3.3
 
 
77
65
 
 
3.1
 
 
75
64
 
 
3.3
 
 
70
59
 
 
3.6
 
 
65
54
 
 
3.2
 
 
59
49
 
 
3.6
 
 
58
48
 
 
3.7
 
 
58
48
 
 
3.7
 
 
61
50
 
 
3.3
 
 
65
53
 
 
3.4
 
 
70
57
 
 
2.6
 
 
75
62
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Viedma, Argentina (1981-2010)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
31
 
 
29
15
 
 
43
 
 
28
14
 
 
54
 
 
25
12
 
 
42
 
 
21
8
 
 
29
 
 
16
5
 
 
26
 
 
13
2
 
 
26
 
 
13
2
 
 
22
 
 
15
2
 
 
25
 
 
18
4
 
 
30
 
 
21
7
 
 
24
 
 
25
10
 
 
21
 
 
28
13
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
1.2
 
 
85
58
 
 
1.7
 
 
83
57
 
 
2.1
 
 
78
54
 
 
1.6
 
 
70
46
 
 
1.1
 
 
61
40
 
 
1
 
 
56
36
 
 
1
 
 
55
35
 
 
0.9
 
 
59
36
 
 
1
 
 
64
39
 
 
1.2
 
 
71
45
 
 
0.9
 
 
77
50
 
 
0.8
 
 
82
55
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
















Wildlife

Human activity has caused major changes to the wildlife of the Pampas.

Most big or medium sized species such as the puma, rhea, Capybara, plains viscacha, maned wolf, marsh deer and Pampas deer have lost their habitats especially due to the spread of agriculture and ranching, and are only present in very few relicts of the pampas. [4] Other species, such as the Jaguar and the Guanaco have been extirpated completely from this habitat.

Mammals that are still fairly present include Brazilian guinea pig, southern mountain cavy, coypu, Pampas fox, Geoffroy's cat, lesser grison, white-eared opossum, Molina's hog-nosed skunk, big lutrine opossum, big hairy armadillo and southern long-nosed armadillo.

Bird species of the pampas are ruddy-headed goose, pampas meadowlark, hudsonian godwit, maguari stork, white-faced ibis, white-winged coot, southern screamer, dot-winged crake, curve-billed reedhaunter, burrowing owl and the rhea. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Invasive species include the European hare, wild boar and house sparrow.

Vegetation

Historically, frequent wildfires ensured that only small plants such as grasses flourished, while trees were less common.[ citation needed ] The dominant vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe, in which numerous species of the grass genus Stipa are particularly conspicuous. "Pampas grass" ( Cortaderia selloana ) is an iconic species of the Pampas. Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs. Different strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availability.

The World Wildlife Fund divides the Pampas into three distinct ecoregions. The Uruguayan Savanna lies east of the Paraná River, and includes all of Uruguay, most of Entre Ríos and Corrientes provinces in Argentina, and the southern portion of Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Humid Pampas include eastern Buenos Aires Province, and southern Entre Ríos Province. The Semiarid Pampas includes western Buenos Aires Province and adjacent portions of Santa Fe, Córdoba, and La Pampa provinces. The Pampas are bounded by the drier Argentine Espinal grasslands, which form a semicircle around the north, west, and south of the Humid Pampas.

Winters are cold to mild, and summers are hot and humid. Rainfall is fairly uniform throughout the year but is a little heavier during the summer. Annual rainfall is heaviest near the coast and decreases gradually further inland. Rain during the late spring and summer usually arrives in the form of brief heavy showers and thunderstorms. More general rainfall occurs the remainder of the year as cold fronts and storm systems move through. Although cold spells during the winter often send nighttime temperatures below freezing, snow is quite rare. In most winters, a few light snowfalls occur over inland areas.

Central Argentina boasts a successful agricultural business, with crops grown on the Pampas south and west of Buenos Aires. Much of the area is also used for cattle, and more recently, to cultivate vineyards in the Buenos Aires wine region. The area is also used for farming honey using European honeybees. These farming regions are particularly susceptible to flooding during the thunderstorms. The weather averages out to be 60 °F (16 °C) year-round in the Pampas.

Pampas plains in Buenos Aires province, Argentina Pampas BsAsProv.png
Pampas plains in Buenos Aires province, Argentina

Population

Immigration

Starting in the 1840s but intensifying after the 1880s, European immigrants began to migrate to the Pampas, first as part of government-sponsored colonization schemes to settle the land and later as tenant farmers "working as either a sharecropper or as paid laborers for absentee landowners" [10] in an attempt to make a living for themselves.

However, many immigrants eventually moved to more permanent employment in cities, as industrialization picked up after the 1930s. As a result, Argentina's history of immigration in Buenos Aires Province is typically associated with cities and urban life, unlike in Entre Ríos Province and Santa Fe Province, where European immigration took on a more rural profile.

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geography of Argentina</span> Geographic features of Argentina

The geography of Argentina describes the geographic features of Argentina, a country located in Southern South America. Bordered by the Andes in the west and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, neighbouring countries are Chile to the west, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buenos Aires Province</span> Province of Argentina

Buenos Aires, officially the Buenos Aires Province, is the largest and most populous Argentine province. It takes its name from the city of Buenos Aires, the capital of the country, which used to be part of the province and the province's capital until it was federalized in 1880. Since then, in spite of bearing the same name, the province does not include Buenos Aires proper, though it does include all other parts of the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area. The capital of the province is the city of La Plata, founded in 1882.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Formosa, Argentina</span> City in Formosa, Argentina

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Entre Ríos Province</span> Province of Argentina

Entre Ríos is a central province of Argentina, located in the Mesopotamia region. It borders the provinces of Buenos Aires (south), Corrientes (north) and Santa Fe (west), and Uruguay in the east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">La Pampa Province</span> Province of Argentina

La Pampa is a sparsely populated province of Argentina, located in the Pampas in the center of the country. Neighboring provinces are from the north clockwise San Luis, Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Río Negro, Neuquén and Mendoza.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Santa Rosa, La Pampa</span> City in La Pampa, Argentina

Santa Rosa is a city in the Argentine Pampas (lowlands), and the capital of La Pampa Province, Argentina. It lies on the east of the province, on the shore of the Don Tomás Lagoon, at the intersection of National Routes 5 and 35. The city (94,340) and its surroundings hold 102,610 inhabitants ,Census-ar 2.010 hold 124.101 inhabitants the capital y Toay around a third of the population of the province. Its current mayor is Leandro Altolaguirre. Founded in 1892 by Tomás Mason, Santa Rosa did not develop into a relatively important agricultural centre until the second half of the 20th century. It is still one of the smallest provincial capitals of the country after Patagonian Rawson, Ushuaia and Viedma.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">San Salvador de Jujuy</span> City in Jujuy, Argentina

San Salvador de Jujuy, commonly known as Jujuy and locally often referred to as San Salvador, is the capital and largest city of Jujuy Province in northwest Argentina. Also, it is the seat of the Doctor Manuel Belgrano Department. It lies near the southern end of the Humahuaca Canyon where wooded hills meet the lowlands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tandil</span> City in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tandil is the main city of the homonymous partido (department), located in Argentina, in the southeast of Buenos Aires Province, just north-northwest of Tandilia hills. The city was founded in 1823 and its name originates from the Piedra Movediza which fell in 1912. The city is the birthplace of many notable sports personalities, as well as former president of Argentina Mauricio Macri.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mesopotamia, Argentina</span> Region in Argentina

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Regions of Argentina</span>

The provinces of Argentina are often grouped into eight geographical regions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Humid Pampas</span>

The Humid Pampas is an extensive ecoregion of flat, fertile grassland of loessic origin in Argentina. It has a precipitation average of 900 mm per year, in contrast with the Dry Pampas to the west, which average less than 700 mm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paraná Delta</span> River in Argentina

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laprida Partido</span> Department in Argentina

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mercedes Partido</span> Department in Argentina

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climate of Argentina</span> Overview of the climate of Argentina

The climate of Argentina varies from region to region, as the vast size of the country and wide variation in altitude make for a wide range of climate types. Summers are the warmest and wettest season in most of Argentina except in most of Patagonia where it is the driest season. Warm in the north, cool in the center and cold in the southern parts experiencing frequent frost and snow. Because southern parts of the country are moderated by the surrounding oceans, the cold is less intense and prolonged than areas at similar latitudes in the northern hemisphere. Spring and autumn are transition seasons that generally feature mild weather.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Córdoba Province, Argentina</span> Province of Argentina

Córdoba is a province of Argentina, located in the center of the country. Its neighboring provinces are Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, La Rioja, and Catamarca. Together with Santa Fe and Entre Ríos, the province is part of the economic and political association known as the Center Region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climatic regions of Argentina</span> Overview of climatic regions of Argentina

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climate of Buenos Aires</span>

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, has a temperate climate, which is classified as a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid with frequent thunderstorms while winters are cool and drier with frosts that occurs on average twice per year. Spring and fall are transition seasons characterized by changeable weather. At the central observatory, the highest temperature recorded is 43.3 °C (109.9 °F), and the lowest temperature recorded is −5.4 °C (22.3 °F).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Argentine Espinal</span>

The Espinal (NT0801) is an ecoregion of dry, thorny forest, savanna and steppe in Argentina. It has been extensively modified by large scale cattle ranching, but remnants of the original flora remain. It is threatened by the advance of the irrigation-based agricultural frontier.

References

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  4. "Southern South America: Southeastern Argentina | Ecoregions | WWF". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  5. WWF ecoregions: https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/nt0803
  6. IUCN redlist: http://oldredlist.iucnredlist.org/details/6786/0
  7. IUCN redlist: http://oldredlist.iucnredlist.org/details/4819/0
  8. IUCN redlist: http://oldredlist.iucnredlist.org/details/22689353/0
  9. IUCN redlist: http://oldredlist.iucnredlist.org/details/29620/0
  10. Meade, Teresa A. History of modern Latin America: 1800 to the present. Wiley Blackwell, 2016.