The Rise of the American Cordillera
Described as the 'backbone' of the Americas, the American Cordillera is series of dramatic mountains stretching all the way from North America as far south as Antarctica.
The surface of Earth is broken up into large and small 'tectonic plates' – landmasses that drift across our planet over geological time. When they collide, they unleash the most powerful force on Earth. Nothing withstands this movement; oceans are closed, whole continents lifted. Whether we’re looking at oceanic or terrestrial plates, almost all known mountains owe their existence to these collisions.
A striking example is the west coast of the Americas, where we find a variety of mountain chains created by such a convergence. The relentless if very slow movement of the plates underlying the Pacific Ocean towards the continental mass of North and South America has created a huge topographic rise - the American Cordillera (or mountain chain).