Serra do Espinhaço

Espinhaço, Serra do


a system of residual ridges on the Brazilian Highlands in Brazil, from 15° to 21° S lat., on the right bank of the upper course of the São Francisco River. The system’s highest elevation, Pico do Sol, rises to 2,107 m. The Serra do Espinhaço consists of outcrops of dense metamorphic rocks, primarily quartzites, in the fold system of the western edge of the Atlantic Shield. Variably humid tropical forests grow on the slopes. In the south, at Itabira, there is a large iron-ore deposit. Manganese, diamonds, and gold are also mined in the area.