Monte Desert

Monte Desert

The Monte Desert is a South American desert, located within the country of Argentina. The desert lies southeast of the Atacama Desert in Chile, north of the larger Patagonian Desert, and east of the Andes.[1]


Geography and climate

The delineations between the Monte Desert, the Atacama Desert, and the Patagonian Desert are not exact and the desert seems to be more-or-less continuous with the other two nearby deserts. The geography of the land is very similar to that of the interior Patagonian Desert, with volcanic sediments, piedmont plains, and large mountain blocks, a lot of these the result of its proximity to the ancient And

Due to the region lying on the eastern, or leeward, side of the Andes, it experiences very little rain. This rain shadow effect is the primary reason for the aridity of the region and for the formation of the Monte and the nearby deserts. Although a difference between this desert and the other two deserts is the lack of intensity of effect from the cold water currents off the South American coast for the Monte Desert. This allows the desert to support a wider variety of life than the other two more extreme deserts.[2]

Flora and fauna

The flora of the region is much more diverse than the nearby Patagonian Desert (which contains mainly shrubs and grasses) and the Atacama Desert (which is pretty much devoid of life). Shrubs and grasses are not only common, but tall cacti even appear in the more hospitable areas of the desert.

The fauna of the area is also very similar to that of the Patagonian Desert, only in greater diversity and number due to the Monte's more hospitable conditions. Small mammals like mice abound and larger animals like the guanaco and burrowing owl can be found as well.

See also


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