Difference between North America and South America
Although the cultures of North America and South America couldn't be any more different, comparisons between the two are inevitable, given their proximity to each other. Admittedly, there are quite a few similarities between both, especially with regard to geographical features, but there certainly enough differences that distinguish them as two decidedly individual continents. Let's take a look at some of their more distinctive geographical traits.
The geographical make up of North America is quite diverse, and it is made up of no less than six major regions, each of which is broken down into several smaller sub regions. The lowland regions of the continent are comprised of the Coastal Plain, the Canadian Shield and the Interior Plains, while the highland regions are comprised of the Appalachian Highlands, the North American Cordillera and the Antillean System.
South America is actually quite similar to North America in terms of geographical diversity, with high mountains to be found in the western section of the continent and lower rolling mountains towards the east. In between these mountain ranges are broad lowland plains. That being said, South America does have a higher mountain range in the Andes than can be found in North America. On the other hand, the plains in South America cover a much smaller land area, and the eastern highlands is more spread apart.
The Coastal Plain of North America stretches from the eastern coast of the country, running from Mexico to Cape Cod. This plain reaches out to the ocean as the continental shelf, and it actually makes up the islands of the Bahamas. The Interior Plains for its part is wide and fairly level, and it makes up a huge part of the interior of North America. This places it squarely between the Appalachian Highlands, the Canadian Shield, and the Rocky Mountains. The Interior Plain stretches southward to meet the Coastal Plain.
As for South America, its lowland regions are comprised of broad plains interspersed with smaller areas of growth. The Amazon Basin is the widest and most extensive area of the lowlands, and it is characterized by thick, lush rainforests.
Bodies Of Water
The longest bodies of water in North America are the Mississippi and Mackenzie River systems, both of which stretch across the continent. There are also numerous smaller rivers, with many of them located towards the eastern and western coastal areas of the United States. These rivers are typically used for commerce and for power generation. The rivers in Central America are a lot shorter and consequently, have faster currents that make them less suitable for commercial use.
South America doesn't have nearly as many lakes as North America, although it does make up for it in rivers and waterfalls. Most of the main rivers in the continent flow into either the Atlantic or the Caribbean. The Amazon is the second longest river in the world.
- Diverse range of landforms and bodies of water
- Comprised of six distinct geographical regions
- Has a lot more lakes than South America
- Made up in large part of the Interior Plains
- Notable for the Mississippi and Mackenzie River systems
- Geographically very similar to North America
- The Andes is a higher mountain range than any in North America
- Relatively few lakes compared to North America
- Has an abundance of rivers, waterfalls and rainforests
- Rivers aren't ideally suited for commercial purposes, but locals use the Amazon as the often only available transportation highway