(also Central Valley), an intermontane depression in South America, in northern and central
Chile. The valley is located between the Cordillera Maritima and the Cordillera Central of the Andes. Elevations decrease from north to south, from 1,200 m to sea level at the Golfo de Ancud. The tropical deserts Pampa del Tamarugal and Ata-cama are in the north; deposits of saltpeter are found here. The Longitudinal Valley is Chile’s most populated region. The climate is subtropical and Mediterranean, and the plains are planted with grains and fruits. In the south the climate is subtropical and humid. There are beech and mixed forests here, and beets and potatoes are cultivated. In the southern part of the Longitudinal Valley there is also livestock breeding and logging.