The lower terrace of this great mountainous region, with elevations ranging from loon to 1500 ft., is in reality the western margin of the great Argentine plain, and may be traced from Oran (1017 ft.) near the Bolivian frontier southward through Tucuman (1476 ft.), Frias (1129 ft.), Cordoba (1279 ft.), Rio Cuarto (1358 ft.), Paunero (1250 ft.), and thence westward and southward through still unsettled regions to the Rio Negro at the confluence of the Neuquen and Limay.
The creation of a commercial port at Bahia Blanca and the development of the territories of La Pampa, Rio Negro and Neuquen, have given an impetus to railway construction in that region, and new lines are being extended toward the promising districts among the Andean foothills.
In 1881 President Roca offered for public purchase by auction the lands in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires, the Pampa Central, and the Neuquen district, these lands having been rendered habitable after the campaign of 1878 against the Indians.
By the territories of Neuquen and La Pampa, E.
The rivers of the territory are the Colorado, which forms a part of its northern boundary, and the Negro, formed by the confluence of the Limay (which forms part of the western boundary) and Neuquen on the boundary between Rio Negro territory and the territory of Neuquen.
Lake Nahuel-Huapi lies partly in this territory (see Neuquen), and there are several small lakes scattered over the shingly steppes.
There are other small settlements on the Rio Negro, which is navigable up to the Neuquen frontier (about 450 m.), but the only place of importance is General Roca (about 2300), a military and supply station situated a few miles below the confluence of the Limay and Neuquen rivers and connected with Bahia Blanca and Buenos Aires by a branch of the Great Southern railway.
NEUQUEN, an inland territory of Argentina on the Chilean frontier, between the Colorado and Limay rivers, with the province of Mendoza on the N.
Guanacos and Argentine hares are found in abundance in Neuquen, and to a lesser degree the South American ostrich.
The Neuquen, which unites with the Limay near the 68th meridian to form the Rio Negro, is the principal river of the territory.
The territory is reached by a light-draft river steamer which ascends the Rio Negro to Fort Roca at the confluence of the Limay and Neuquen, and by a branch of the Great Southern railway from Bahia Blanca to the same point.
The capital is Chos Malal, a small town on the upper Neuquen, in the mountainous district in the northern part of the territory.
The opening to settlement of the national territories of La Pampa and Neuquen has contributed largely to the growth and importance of Bahia Blanca.
A further Transandine scheme provides for a line through the Pino Hachado pass (38° 30' to 39° S.), and the Argentine Great Southern Company obtained a concession in 1909 to extend its Neuquen line to the frontier of Chile.