Give Only A General View Of The Systems Situated Beyond The Limits Of
The Region Which Forms The Special Object Of This Memoir.
being essentially founded on the study of the relations of
juxtaposition and place, I could not treat of the littoral chain and
the chain of the Parime separately, without touching on the other
systems south and west of Venezuela.
A. SYSTEMS OF MOUNTAINS.
A.1. CORDILLERAS OF THE ANDES.
This is the most continuous, the longest, the most uniform in its
direction from south to north and north-north-west, of any chain of
the globe. It approaches the north and south poles at unequal
distances of from 22 to 33 degrees. Its development is from 2800 to
3000 leagues (20 to a degree), a length equal to the distance from
Cape Finisterre in Galicia to the north-east cape (Tschuktschoi-Noss)
of Asia. Somewhat less than one half of this chain belongs to South
America, and runs along its western shores. North of the isthmus of
Cupica and of Panama, after an immense lowering, it assumes the
appearance of a nearly central ridge, forming a rocky dyke that joins
the great continent of North America to the southern continent. The
low lands on the east of the Andes of Guatimala and New Spain appear
to have been overwhelmed by the ocean and now form the bottom of the
Caribbean Sea. As the continent beyond the parallel of Florida again
widens towards the east, the Cordilleras of Durango and New Mexico, as
well as the Rocky Mountains, merely a continuation of those
Cordilleras, appear to be thrown still further westward, that is,
towards the coast of the Pacific Ocean; but they still remain eight or
ten times more remote from it than in the southern hemisphere.
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