A mountain system of western South America extending more than 8,000 km (4,970 mi) from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego parallel to the Pacific coast. The Andes rise at many points to more than 6,500 m (21,325 ft).
The sierra is the region of the Andes, and is about 250 m.
Annually, but the drainage from the eastern slopes of the Andes is large enough to meet the loss from evaporation and keep these inland lakes from drying up. At an early period this depressed area drained southward to the Colorado, and the bed of the old outlet can still be traced.
Of the Andes which is claimed by Bolivia, and the settlement of the dispute may materially diminish its size.
Towards the east they lie at a lower level; but in the Andes they reach a height of nearly 10,000 ft., and are strongly folded, showing that the elevation of the chain was not completed until after their deposition.
The marine facies of the later Tertiaries is confined to the neighbourhood of the coast, and was probably formed after the elevation of the Andes; but inland, freshwater deposits of this period are met with, especially in Patagonia.