The Andes (Spanish Cordillera de los Andes, Quechua Anti or Antis) are ~9600 km long and 7400 km maximum extension, the longest (above sea level) mountain range on earth and with 42 six-thousanders and over 50 five-thousanders the highest mountains outside Asia. They form the southern part of the American Cordilleras, which are orographically interrupted in Central America.
On the slopes of the tropical Andes are the two largest centers of biological diversity on earth. The central Andes contain extraordinarily large amounts of ores of the most diverse metals. Around 3000 to 2000 BC In the tropical western Andes region one of the four major areas of origin of agriculture as well as the associated oldest American urban culture of Caral in Peru lay. As a result, a number of advanced Andean cultures, including the Inca Empire, developed in the Andes region. The most important contribution of Andean cultures to the world community is the potato. In the Andes lie today with La Paz (Bolivia's seat of government, 3600 m), Quito (Ecuador, 2850 m), Sucre (Bolivia's capital, 2808 m) and (after Thimphu, Bhutan in the Himalayas) Bogotá (Colombia, 2640 m) four of the highest capital cities on earth.
In general, the name Andes is traced back to the Spanish word "Andenes" (short form "Andes"), which was used by the conquistadors to designate the field cultivation terraces of the Andean slopes. Some etymologists trace this further back to words from the indigenous Kichwa language: the word "andi/anti", which is translated as either "high mountains" or "east", is discussed. The name of the Eastern Cordillera of the Inga Empire "Antisuyu" and its inhabitants, who were called "Antis", also stands in this context. Finally, "anda" (copper) was also discussed, but the metal did not play a significant role in pre-Culumbian times.
Location and Scenery
The Andes extend along the west coast of South America from Venezuela through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. With a north-south extension of 7400 kilometers from the tropics (at 10° north) far into the extratropics (at 55° south) they exceed the Rocky Mountains of North America (max. 5100 km) by about half and have almost the double extension of the Himalaya-Karakorum-Hindu Kush system in Asia with its approximately 3800 kilometers. In the south and in Ecuador they are up to 200 km wide. Between Arica (Chile) and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia), the east-west extension is over 600 kilometers.
Because of their height, length, and north-south extension, the Andes provide a good example of several types of geographic change.
The Andes consist of one to three parallel main chains. In the middle section in Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile and northern Argentina, these chains are very widely separated and enclose the central highlands (Altiplano) in which Lake Titicaca is embedded.
Compared to the North American Cordilleras, the Andes appear uniformly closed on physical maps. In fact, however, there is a great variety of orographic, topographical and geomorphological forms, which makes it difficult to subdivide, so that there are a number of designs that differ more or less from one another. In addition, some designations (e.g. Cordillera central or Cordillera real) are used very differently from country to country and do not always correspond to the definitions of geologists.
A widely recognized rough classification was designed by Tanner in 1978 and adapted again by Borsdorf and Stadel in 2013. The adjacent map and the following structure are based on this model.
Although the lithospheric Cocos Plate forms the Pacific subsurface off Central America, its eastward movement also caused the - distinctly young