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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 ?
Pampas chef de cuisine is Lucas Adrian Farias, an Argentinean national who began his career in Buenos Aires and has a degree in culinary arts from the Argentinean Culinary Institute.
At signing of the SPA, Pampa will deposit 20% of the Base Price in an escrow account held with Citibank, N.
Posteriormente, los valores de diversidad fueron comparados con una prueba t de Student para verificar la existencia de diferencias mensuales significativas en la pampa y en el bofedal.
Para completar su descripcion de la Region de las Pampas retoma una cita del poema La cautiva de Esteban Echeverria, ya que considera que nadie logro una descripcion tan exacta y brillante de esas planicies (Martin de Moussy, 1860: 242).
I leave the desert and cross the enormous Pampa del Indio Muerto to find the Gatico cemetery just a few yards from the sea.
The red stag now occupies huge areas in both La Pampa and Patagonia, and I believe Argentina offers the best free-range red stag hunting in the world (including Europe), especially when you factor in availability and affordability.
Pampas grass has a root system that is as invasive as that of couch grass.
Even though he is probably not an animal of the highest order, victory would stand Pampas Cat in good stead for the likes of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
95) from the Pampas kitchen, which adds egg, tomato and romaine lettuce to the famous sausage and chimichurri sandwich which is served with fries.
Pampas Plains offers two luxury ranges of grass-fed beef, one organic and the other naturally reared.
Thank God I kept schtum as it turns out it's pampas grass grown in the front garden that's the signal.