Patagonia: "South Chile" 1945 Office of Inter-American Affairs 21min

Editors » 9am - October 17, 2013
more at "Life and agriculture of Patagonia." A film by Julien Bryan. The Zona Austral (Austral Zone) 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 Southern Zone 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. Geography Physical geography In the far south (Chile Austral), which extends from Valdivia through the Chacao Channel to Cape Horn, the Andes and the South Pacific meet. This district of the country is mountainous, heavily-forested and inhospitable. The deeply-indented coastline is filled with islands which preserve the general outline of the continent southward to the Fuegian archipelago, the outside groups forming a continuation of the Chilean Coast Range. The heavy and continuous rainfall throughout this region, especially in the latitude of Chiloé, gives rise to a large number of rivers and lakes. Farther south this excessive precipitation is in the form of snow in the Andes, forming glaciers at a comparatively low level which in places discharge into the inlets and bays of the sea. The extreme southern part of this region extends eastward to the Atlantic entrance to the Strait of Magellan, and includes the greater part of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego with all the islands lying south and west of it. There are some comparatively level stretches of country immediately north of the Strait, partly forested and partly grassy plains, where sheep farming has been established with some degree of success, but the greater part of this extreme southern territory is mountainous, cold, wet and inhospitable. The perpetual snow-line here descends to 1,000 to 1,200 m (3,500 to 4,000 ft) above sea-level, and the forest growth does not rise above an altitude of 300 to 450 m (1,000 to 1,500 ft)... Climate In the northern part of the far south, there is still plenty of rainfall. For instance, Puerto Aisén, at 45°24' south latitude, receives 2,973.3 millimeters of rain per year. However, unlike in Valdivia, the rain falls more or less evenly throughout the year in Puerto Aisén. The summer months average 206.1 millimeters, whereas the winter months average 300 millimeters. The temperatures at sea level in Puerto Aisén average 13.6 °C in the summer months and 4.7 °C in the winter months. Although the area generally is chilly and wet, the combination of channels, fjords, snowcapped mountains, and islands of all shapes and sizes within such a narrow space makes for breathtaking views. The area is still heavily forested, although some of the native species of trees that grow in the central and southern parts of the country have given way to others better adapted to a generally colder climate. The southern part of the far south includes the city of Punta Arenas, which, with about 125,000 inhabitants, is the southernmost city of any appreciable size in the world. It receives much less precipitation; its annual total is only 438.5 millimeters, or a little more than what Valdivia receives in the month of June alone. This precipitation is distributed more or less evenly throughout the year, with the two main summer months receiving a monthly average of thirty-one millimeters and the winter months 38.9 millimeters, some of it in the form of snow. Temperatures are colder than in the rest of the country. The summer months average 11.1 °C, and the winter months average 2.5 °C. The virtually constant wind from the South Pacific Ocean makes the air feel much colder... Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego (literally, Great Island of the Land of Fire) is an island near the southern tip of South America from which it is separated by the Strait of Magellan. Its western part, 29,484.7 km², 61.43% of the island, is in Chile (Province of Tierra del Fuego and Antártica Chilena Province), while the eastern part, 18,507.3 km², 38.57% of the island, is in Argentina (Tierra del Fuego Province). It forms the major landmass in the island group also called Tierra del Fuego. The island has an area of 47,992 km², making it the 29th largest island in the world. Its two primary towns are Ushuaia and Río Grande, both in Argentina, while its highest point is Monte Darwin (2,488 m), in Chile. Other towns are Tolhuin and Porvenir in Argentina and Chile respectively. The northern parts of the island have oil deposits; Cerro Sombrero in Chile is the main extraction centre in the island...
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