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the general term for the high-elevation zone (greater than 3,200–3,500 m) in intertropical latitudes of Central and South America. The tierra helada is usually above the timberline and includes the subnival and nival natural zones. The topography shows a predominance of tablelands, mountain ridges, and volcanic cones. The subnival zone of equatorial latitudes has high-elevation moist equatorial meadows known as paramos. There are grasslands in the subequatorial latitudes and semideserts in the tropical latitudes. The snow line ranges from 4,500–4,700 m below the equator to 6,500 m in interior regions below the tropic of Capricorn.