Springtime in the central Andes mountains. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features early springtime in the central Andes mountains of South America.
In September and October, the snow begins to melt and transforms into a primary water source for major rivers, which provide water to nearby towns for drinking, agriculture, and hydroelectric power.
The Andes stretch out across seven countries along the western coast of South America. This photograph shows about 400 miles of the mountain range in Chile and Argentina.
The image was captured on October 11, 2020 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (Spanish: Cordillera de los Andes) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America. The range is 7,000 km (4,350 mi) long, 200 to 700 km (124 to 435 mi) wide (widest between 18°S – 20°S latitude), and has an average height of about 4,000 m (13,123 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
Along their length, the Andes are split into several ranges, separated by intermediate depressions. The Andes are the location of several high plateaus—some of which host major cities such as Quito, Bogotá, Cali, Arequipa, Medellín, Bucaramanga, Sucre, Mérida and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the world’s second-highest after the Tibetan plateau. These ranges are in turn grouped into three major divisions based on climate: the Tropical Andes, the Dry Andes, and the Wet Andes.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory