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Andes Mountains to Amazon Rainforest, Peru

13.3S 71.1W

March 8th, 2010 Category: Mountains, Rivers

Peru - February 12th, 2010

Peru - February 12th, 2010

The Andes mountains run parallel to the Pacific Ocean, dividing Peru into three geographic regions. This orthorectified image shows two of the three: the highlands and the jungle.

The sierra (highlands) is the region of the Andes; it includes the Altiplano plateau. The selva (jungle) is a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east from the mountains. Almost 60% of the country’s area is located within this region (70 million hectares), giving Peru the fourth largest area of tropical forest in the world.

Most Peruvian rivers originate in the Andes and drain into one of three basins. Those that drain toward the Pacific Ocean are steep and short, flowing only intermittently. Tributaries of the Amazon River are longer, have a much larger flow, and are less steep once they exit the sierra. Rivers that drain into Lake Titicaca are generally short and have a large flow. Here, some rivers can be seen flowing downwards from the Andes.

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