the Continental Divide of the Americas


The Continental Divide of the Americas is the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas.

A drainage divide, water divide, divide, ridgeline, watershed, water parting or height of land is elevated terrain that separates neighboring drainage basins.

A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak.

The Americas encompass the totality of the continents of North and South America.

The Importance of the Continental Divide by Smithsonian Channel


The Continental Divide extends from the Bering Strait to the Strait of Magellan, and separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain into the Atlantic Ocean and, along the northernmost reaches of the Divide, those river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean.

The Strait of Magellan, also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south.

The Bering Strait is a strait of the Pacific, which separates Russia and the United States slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40' N latitude.

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers.

EB_EssexThruMtsToContinDivideToHighPlains_2014-03-18 by wis465


Although there are many other hydrological divides in the Americas, the Continental Divide is by far the most prominent of these because it tends to follow a line of high peaks along the main ranges of the Rocky Mountains and Andes, at a generally much higher elevation than the other hydrological divisions.

The Andes or Andean Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America.

The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America.

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