• Moshe Brawer


The physical structure of South America, with its major surface features, mountain systems, plateaus, river basins, and plains, is the product of a complex of successive geological processes. Endogenic (originating within the earth) and exogenic (originating at or near the surface of the earth) forces continuously at work over the long geological history of the continent brought about many drastic changes in its shape and relief, leading to its present surface and structural characteristics. The geologically oldest parts of the continent consist of three landmasses that today form the Guiana and Brazilian highlands. These three landmasses, known as shields (large rigid areas of the earth's crust, made up of its oldest rocks, which were not affected by later major mountain-building episodes), are the Guiana Shield, the Central Brazilian Shield, and the Eastern Brazilian Shield


Amazon Basin Volcanic Material Tertiary Period Intermont Basin Lava Plateau 
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© Carta, The Israel Map and Publishing Company, Ltd. 1991

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  • Moshe Brawer

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