Uruguay Geography

By | December 20, 2021

Relief. – Uruguay is essentially a hilly country, the greatest height of which is just 620m. near the Brazilian border, and 450 m. (Sierra de las Ánimas) in the interior. Structurally it is part of the great crystalline massif of Brazil, very ancient, since it dates back to the lower Paleozoic and, by some geologists, even to pre-Paleozoic periods. This massif forms the basis of the region, which to the east of the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, forms a series of granite hills, with domed peaks and gentle slopes, surrounded by gneiss ridges. To the west of Montevideo, and up to the Uruguay River, the base emerges in granite ridges only here and there. Layers of clays and sands, where of fluvial origin and where of wind origin, have carpeted and leveled the depressed areas (valles) between the low hills mentioned above. Sandstones, limestones and clayey schists, whose age dates back to the Permic and Triassic periods, form an almost horizontal blanket that in discordance covers the crystalline base in the north-western part of the country. It is the so-called Gondwana formation, which in Uruguay extends towards the south, almost as far as a line that goes from Paysandú to Latorre on the border with Brazil. In many parts, erosion has removed edges of the Gondwanian blanket, leaving the underlying granite to emerge. On these in central and south-western Uruguay lie almost horizontal piles of red sandstone, diabase and basalts, which have given rise to a relief with predominantly tabular peaks. For Uruguay geography, please check franciscogardening.com.

Uruguay is crossed by SSO. to the NNE., from the Cuchilla Grande, a complex of wide undulations of the ground, of ridges with very little steep slopes, which begins near the coast between Montevideo and Maldonado and ends at the border with Brazil. The Cuchilla Grande has above all hydrographic importance, because it forms the main watershed between the tributary rivers of Uruguay and the Platense estuary and those that flow directly into the Atlantic. From the hydrographic point of view, the Cuchilla de Haedo is also remarkable, which with the Cuchilla Grande limits the basin of the Río Negro. Cuchillas rarely have the appearance of mountains; the landscape as a whole is morphologically mature, devoid of great contrasts, largely monotonous.

On the coast there are rocky protrusions, connected to each other by systems of dunes originating from the massing of the sands, carried by the currents of the estuary or of local origin. Sometimes these sands have formed coastal strips at the mouth of inlets, which, in this way, have been transformed into lagoons.

Climate. – Hydrography. – The climate of Uruguay is temperate-hot and constantly humid, very similar, on the whole, to that of some neighboring Argentine provinces (Entre Ríos, Corrientes), but more abundantly sprayed by rains and more uniform in temperatures, because feel the influence of the ocean to a greater extent. Temperatures are rising from south to north, rains from SW. NE. (maximum in Rivera, 1300 mm.). These are distributed throughout the year but prevail in the fall. Montevideo in July, which is the coldest month, records an average of 10 °, 3; in January, the hottest month, an average of 22 °, 2 (annual average, 16 °, 1); the annual quantity of rains varies enormously from one year to the next (550 mm. only in 1907, 2400 in 1914), and amounts to 986 mm on average; the wettest month is April (116 mm.), the driest,

About half of the territory of the Republic is formed by the basin of the Río Negro, 800 km long, which receives numerous tributaries, the most notable of which are the Tacuarembó (200 km.) And the Yi (220 km.). Of the other tributaries of Uruguay, the largest are the Río Cuareim (300 km.) And the Queguay (250 km.). Río Cebollatí flows into Lagôa Mirim (200 km.).

Flora and vegetation. – About 4 / 5 of the territory are covered with a grass grassy vegetation that have a significant number of representatives: about 500 species. For this reason, cattle breeding is highly developed in the Uruguayan territory. The arboreal vegetation is mainly confined along the waterways where there are no large trees and bushy forms abound in the undergrowth. On the sides of the mountains palm trees grow but only in the SW regions. constitute important formations.

Timber plants have a slow growth and for this reason their wood is hard and compact. Among the many woody plants there are the quebracho blanco and colorado, acacias, eucalyptus, elms, black and white willow, mate, some species of pines, milk tree (Galactodendron useful), sensitive mimosa, elderberry; among the useful herbaceous plants: tobacco, sarsaparilla, malvavisco, mint, rue, soapwort, oregano, burdock, hemlock, dulcamara, etc.

In the vast grasslands, verbene with white and scarlet flowers and other plants with brightly colored flowers bloom.

Fauna. – Rich and interesting fauna such as that of the neotropic region in general. Numerous monkeys living in the woods and chiroptera represented by characteristic neotropic species such as vampires. Insectivores are missing. On the contrary, Carnivores are numerous. We will mention the eleven, the eyra among the felines, various dogs, the red-nosed nasua among the raccoons and the llama, the peccary, the tapir among the ungulates.

Numerous the Rosicanti with many species of guinea pigs, some porcupines, various squirrels, mice, etc. The Toothless include the armadillo, the tata, the pela, the anteater, the tamandua. The ornithological fauna is very rich with numerous species of various shapes and colors. Of notable interest are the herpetofauna, the anuran amphibians and freshwater fishes. The entomological fauna is very rich and with the malacological one it is characterized by the considerable size of various species.

Uruguay Relief