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Posts tagged Strait of Magellan

Strait of Magellan, Between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

54S 71W

March 27th, 2010 Category: Sediments

Argentina - February 23rd, 2010

Argentina - February 23rd, 2010

The Strait of Magellan, visible at the bottom, comprises a navigable sea route immediately south of mainland South America and north of Tierra del Fuego. The eastern opening is a wide bay on the border of Chile and Argentina between Punta Dúngeness on the mainland and Cabo del Espíritu Santo on Tierra del Fuego. Here, the strait is mostly free of sediments, as opposed to the shoreline of Argentina to the east.

The waterway is the most important natural passage between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, but it is considered a difficult route to navigate because of the unpredictable winds and currents and the narrowness of the passage.

The strait is approximately 570 kilometres (310 nmi; 350 mi) long and about 2 kilometres (1.1 nmi; 1.2 mi) wide at its narrowest point (Carlos III Island, west of Cape Froward). The northwestern portion of the strait is connected with other sheltered waterways via the Smyth Channel. Southward from Cape Froward, the principal shipping route follows the Magdalena Channel.

Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and Chile

54.7S 68.2W

November 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Argentina - October 6th, 2009

Argentina - October 6th, 2009

Tierra del Fuego (Spanish for “Land of Fire”) is an archipelago 73,753 km2 (28,476 sq mi) off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The southern point of the archipelago forms Cape Horn.

Tierra del Fuego is shared by Argentina and Chile. More precisely, 18.507,3 km2 belongs to Argentina (38,57% of the region’s total surface), 29.484,7 km2 belongs to Chile (61,43% of total surface).

The climate in this region is very inhospitable. It is a subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfc) with short, cool summers and long, wet, moderate winters. The precipitation averages 3,000 mm (118 in) a year.

Temperatures in Ushuaia hardly surpass 9 °C (50 °F) in summers and average 0 °C (30 °F) in winters. Snowfall can occur in summer. The cold and wet summers help preserve the ancient glaciers.

The southernmost islands possess subantarctic climate typical of tundra that makes the growth of trees impossible. Some areas in the interior have a polar climate.

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