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During the Tertiary era or Cenozoic period some of the most spectacular mountains on our planet were formed. These are relatively young formations, such as the Himalayas or the Andes. This last mountain range is one of the highest on Earth, due to the short geological time period in which erosion has acted on it.
The Andes extend throughout Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and part of Venezuela. The average height of its peaks is around 4,000 meters, with the highest peak being Aconcagua, in Argentina, with 6,960 meters above sea level.
The Andes originated from the movements of the tectonic plates, something that has been taking place since the Mesozoic period. This mountain range was raised by the subduction of several oceanic plates below the South American plate, such as Cocos, Nazca and Antarctica. The uprising of the Andes has not yet stopped, since the plates are still moving today.
Several areas of the Andes have a great volcanic activity. It is the result of the partial fusion of the wedge of the mantle, something that usually occurs in subduction zones. The volcanism in the Andes is distributed in four sectors: the northern volcanic zone (Colombia and Ecuador), the central volcanic zone (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru), the southern volcanic zone (Argentina and Chile) and the southern volcanic zone ( Argentina and Chile).
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