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(păm`pəz, Span. päm`päs), wide, flat, grassy plains of temperate S South America, c.300,000 sq mi (777,000 sq km), particularly in Argentina and extending into Uruguay. Although the region gradually rises to the west, it appears mostly level. Precipitation decreases from east to west. Trees are found only along watercourses. Covered by grasses whose height varies with the amount of rainfall received, the soil of the pampas is very fertile and supports a thriving pastoral and farming economy. The Pampa, c.250,000 sq mi (647,500 sq km), of central and N Argentina embraces parts of the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, and La Pampa. Cattle was first introduced to the region by the Portuguese in the 1550s. Throughout the colonial period under Spain, only a small part of the Pampa was used; economic activity was practically restricted to primitive stock raising for the exportation of hides, tallow, and jerked beef. Herds of cattle roamed freely over the Pampa, and the gauchogaucho
, cowboy of the Argentine and Uruguayan pampas (grasslands). The typical gaucho, a familiar figure in the 18th and 19th cent., was a daring, skillful horseman and plainsman.
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, the Argentine cowboy, was the region's dominant figure in the 18th and early 19th cent. A new economic era was initiated in the second half of the 19th cent., when a growing European market for agricultural products (along with new technology for the shipment of food products) brought immigrant farmers (mostly Italian, Spanish, French and German) to the Pampa. They spread westward with the expansion of the railroad that was built to link the increasing number of ranches with the coast. Settlement spread into the interior, and land was brought under the plow as unfriendly Native Americans were driven out of the region and the gaucho yielded to the farmer. In the 20th cent. agriculture remains the chief economic activity of the Pampa; livestock grazing and wheat growing are found in the drier W Pampa while corn and other grains along with dairying and truck crops are found in the more humid E Pampa. In the seaboard cities of Buenos Aires, La Plata, and Bahía Blanca and in the river ports of Rosarío and Santa Fe are the only considerable industries; meatpacking and food processing are important. The region has a dense transportation network focused on Buenos Aires. The Pampa contains most of Argentina's population.



(Spanish term derived from a Quechua Indian word).

(1) The name of several grassy plains in South America. The Pampas proper are a natural region in Argentina extending from 29°–39° S lat. to the Sierra de Córdoba in the west. In the east the pampas are low-lying (30–150 m) with flat sinkholes and ancient valleys. Sandy hills are found in the west, and in the southeast are the Sierra del Tandil and Sierra de la Ventana, rising to 1,250 m. The climate is subtropical, becoming more continental to the west. The average January temperature ranges from 19° to 24°C, and the average July temperature varies from 6° to 10°C. In the east the precipitation falls evenly throughout the year, averaging 800–950 mm annually; the west receives 300–500 mm of rain, falling in summer. Strong southerly winds, called pamperos, are typical.

The region’s main rivers are the Paraná and its tributaries, the Carcaraña and Salado. In the east the Pampas are marshy and crossed by drainage canals; the west has no surface waters, and groundwater is used. The eastern section of the plain was once covered with forb and grassy vegetation growing on reddish black soils (like the prairies of North America). The west was a dry scrub steppe on gray-brown soils. Now the Pampas are cultivated (wheat and corn) or used for pasture. They are Argentina’s main economic region.

(2) Subtropical steppe vegetation growing on plains in the southern part of South America and consisting of grasses and other herbaceous plants. The most typical grasses are meadow grass, feather grass, Aristida, oniongrass, brome, quaking grass, fescue, and koeleria; other common herbaceous plants are campions, sandworts, lupines, vetches, and red verbenas. The family Compositae is represented by ragwort, and there are many plants of the iris, myrtle, and nightshade families. Animals include white-tailed deer, pumas, Pampas cats, armadillos, and vizcachas.


a. the extensive grassy plains of temperate South America, esp in Argentina
b. (as modifier): pampas dwellers
References in periodicals archive ?
Enjoy a long summer day and then join us for our spirited and extravagant cabaret shows in the lush comfort of the Pampas Room," exhorts Miss Indigo Blue (http://www.
Many gardeners are convinced that they need to set fire to their pampas if they're to survive the winter weather and throw up blooms next year.
Pampas, like Denari before it, utilizes the front as a grocery-bakery, displaying plenty of baked goods, cold meats, appetizers, salads and other food in its glass-front cases.
Pampas grass; dunes, scrub, pine forests; North and Central coasts.
Carol: There are few more handsome sights than a healthy clump of pampas grass loaded with fluffy plumes.
After an initial chapter describing the Inca city within the wider Andean perspective both historically and archaeologically, subsequent chapters focus on particular features or themes of Huanuco Pampas urban layout such as the central plaza (Chapter 2), Spanish colonial occupation (Chapter 3), palace complexes in general (Chapter 4), and a description of an administrative palace at the site (Chapter 5).
Many of the sites are cunas--children's graves--chilling evidence of the great plague that spread throughout the pampas in the early twentieth century.
Pampas grass might grow no taller than four feet - it is often recommended for smaller gardens - and its feathery plumes are certainly graceful but none of this compensates for its thug-like nature.
When complete in 2014, the Pampa Wind Project will cover some 400,000 acres in the Texas Panhandle and be five times as big as the nation's current largest wind power project, now producing 736 megawatts.
Unraced at two, Pampas Cat could not have been any more impressive on his debut at Newmarket, where he ruthlessly demolished a strong field.
Even though he is probably not an animal of the highest order, victory here would stand Pampas Cat in good stead for the likes of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The latest chimichurri haven is the Pampas Cafe in Granada Hills, a casual, no-frills Argentine eating place that appears to be rapidly gaining in popularity, no doubt due to its reasonable prices.