- west coast of South America
- pases through 6 countries Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile
- 7,000km long
- worlds largest mountain range
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- Converging of Nazca and south American plates
- Nazca plate has subducted under the South American plate.
- Rocks on the South Americam plate have folded and crumpled to create the mountains
- As it is a destructive plate boundary volcanoes and earthquakes are situated along it.
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- Mainly subsistance farming
- Main Staple crop is potatoes
- Soya, maize, rice and cotton are also grown
- To get the most of th farming terraces have been built on the side of mountains
- Llamas are used to carry goods and for transportation.
- Alpacas are also used for this along wiht creating cloth
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- Lots of useful and valuable materials can be found in the Andes.
- There are large deposits of coal, natural gas, tin, copper, iron ore, silver, phosphates, nitrates and bauxite (aluminium)
- Most important deposit is gold
- Yanacocha mine is the biggest open cast gold mine in the world.
- Cajamarca's (close town) population has gone from 30,000 to 240,00 (2005) since the mine opened.
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Uses: Hyrdoelectic power (HEP)
- Has deep valleys and rivers
- some are narrow so can be easily be converted into dams.
- The Yuncan dam in Peru blocks the rivers Puacartambo and Hauchon.
- Most of the water flowing through the river is due to melting of snow (less in winter).
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- Most of Peru's income is though tourism
- Mainly the Inca trail one of the 23 world heritage sites
- the trail is 43km of old pathways through old settlements and the mountains
- The walk is done over 4 days and finishes at Machu Picchu
- only 500 trecjers can start the trail a day
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