Patagonia is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the section of the Andes mountains as well as the deserts, steppes. Patagonia has two coasts, a western one towards the Pacific Ocean and an eastern one towards the Atlantic Ocean, the Colorado and Barrancas rivers, which run from the Andes to the Atlantic, are commonly considered the northern limit of Argentine Patagonia. The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is sometimes included as part of Patagonia, most geographers and historians locate the northern limit of Chilean Patagonia at Reloncaví Estuary. The name Patagonia comes from the word used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, the hypothesis was accepted and published in the New Review of Spanish Philology in the 2011 article. In the hollows of the plains are ponds or lakes of fresh and brackish water, towards the Andes, the shingle gives place to porphyry, granite, and basalt lavas, animal life becomes more abundant and vegetation more luxuriant. It is characteristic of the flora of the western coast, and consist principally of southern beech and conifers. Among the depressions by which the plateau is intersected transversely, the ones are the Gualichu, south of the Río Negro, the Maquinchao and Valcheta, the Senguerr. There, erosion which is caused principally by the sudden melting, best in evidence where in contact with folded Cretaceous rocks which are uplifted by the Cenozoic granite. It generally separates the plateau from the first lofty hills, the ridges generally called the pre-Cordillera, to the west of these, a similar longitudinal depression extends all along the foot of the snowy Andean Cordillera. This latter depression contains the richest and most fertile land of Patagonia, Lake basins along the Cordillera were also excavated by ice-streams, including Lake Argentino and Lake Fagnano, as well as coastal bays such as Bahía Inútil. There have been discrepancies among geologists on the origin of the Patagonian landmass, víctor Ramos has proposed that the Patagonian landmass originated as an allochtonous terrane that separated from Antarctica and docked in South America 250 to 270 Ma in the Permian era. A2014 study by Robert John Pankhurst and coworkers reject any idea of a far-travelled Patagonia claiming it is likely of parautochtonous origin, the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits have revealed a most interesting vertebrate fauna. The Patagonian Myolania belongs to the Upper Chalk, having been associated with remains of Dinosauria. In the Cenozoic marine formation, a number of cetaceans has been discovered. At a state level, Patagonia lies inside two countries, Chile and Argentina, both countries have organised their Patagonian territories into non-equivalent administrative subdivisions, Provinces and departments in Argentina, and regions, provinces and communes in Chile. Being a unitary state Chiles first level administrative divisions—the regions—enjoy far less autonomy than Argentine provinces, Argentine provinces have elected governors and parliaments, while Chilean regions have government-appointed intendants
Patagonia, as usually defined.
Island - seabirds and lighthouse in foreground with mountain rising in background