Its territory is divided into two nearly equal parts by the eastern branch of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the northern part belonging to the great central plateau region, and the southern to an extremely broken region formed by the diverging branches of the Sierra Madre, with their wooded terraces and slopes and highly fertile valleys.
Long and has no ports or towns of importance, the slopes of the Sierra Madre del Pacifico being precipitous and heavily wooded and the coastbelt sandy, hot and malarial.
The state occupies an elevated plateau, extending from two spurs of the Sierra Madre, called the Sierra Fria and Sierra de Laurel, eastward to the rolling fertile plains of its eastern and south-eastern districts.
The largest of these is the Laguna de la Madre, 125 m.
The Sierra Madre crosses the southern part of the state parallel with the coast, separating the low, humid, forested districts on the frontier of Tabasco from the hot, drier, coastal plain on the Pacific. The mountain region includes a plateau of great fertility and temperate climate, which is one of the best parts of Mexico and contains the larger part of the population of the state.
Coffee-planting is a new industry on the Pacific slope of the Sierra Madre at elevations of 2000 to 4000 ft., and has met with considerable success.
The surface of the state is much broken by the Sierra Madre Occidental, which extends through it from north to south and covers its entire width with parallel ranges, enclosing fertile valleys.
The longest is the Yaqui, which has its source on the eastern side of the Sierra Tarahumare in Chihuahua and breaks through several ranges of the Sierra Madre before reaching the gulf near Guaymas.
The line adopted starts from Lake Suches, the source of a small river of that name flowing into the north of Lake Titicaca, crosses the Cordillera by the Palomani to the Tambopata river, follows that stream to the mouth of the Lanza, thence crosses to the source of the Heath river, which forms the dividing line down to its junction with the Madre de Dios, descends that river to the mouth of the Torosmonas, thence in a straight line north-westerly to the intersection of the Tahu.amanu river by the 69th meridian, and thence north on that meridian to the Brazilian frontier.
The southern half of the montana is watered by streams flowing from the eastern Andes, which go to form the river Madre de Dios or Amaru mayu, the principal branch of the river Beni, which falls into the Madeira.
Of the rivers farther south, which discharge into the Amazon through the Madeira, the Madre de Dios alone offers an extended navigable channel, together with some of its larger tributaries, such as the Heath and Chandless.
Nuevo Leon lies partly upon the great Mexican plateau and partly upon its eastern slopes, the Sierra Madre Oriental crossing the state N.W.
A branch of the Sierra Madre extends northward from the vicinity of Salinas, but its elevations are low.
The average elevation of the Sierra Madre within the state is slightly under 5500 ft.
The Sierra Madre Occidental consists of several parallel ranges in the north, where a broad belt of country is covered with a labyrinth of ridges and valleys.
Near the 10th parallel the great chain again divides, the eastern part crossing the southern end of the plateau, and the western, or Sierra Madre del Sur, following the shore line closely to Tehuantepec. The Sierra Madre Occidental has but few noteworthy elevations, its culminating points being the Nevado de Colima (14,363 ft.) and Volcan de Colima (12,750 ft.) in the state of Jalisco.
The Sierra Madre Oriental consists of a broken chain of ranges extending along the eastern margin of the plateau from the great bend in the Rio Grande south-eastward to about the 19th parallel.
In a general sense these ranges may be considered part of the eastern branch of the Sierra Madre Occidental, which turns eastward on the 10th parallel and crosses the plateau in a south by east direction.
The largest rivers of Mexico are: the Rio Grande de Santiago, called the Lerma above Lake Chapala, rising in the state of Mexico and flowing westward across Guanajuato, Jalisco and Tepic to the Pacific coast, with a total length of 540 m., celebrated for its deep canyons and waterfalls; the Rio de las Balsas, or Mescala, which rises in Tlaxcala and flows south and west to the Pacific with a course of 426 m.; the Yaqui, which rises in western Chihuahua and, after breaking through the northern ranges of the Sierra Madre Occidental, flows south-westerly across Sonora to the Gulf of California, with a length of 390 m.; the Grijalva, also called the Chiapas on its upper course, which has its sources in the state of Chiapas and flows north-west and north across Tabasco to the Gulf of Mexico, with a total length of 350 m.; the Fuerte, which rises in southern Chihuahua and, after breaking through the sierras, flows south-west across Sinaloa to the Gulf of California, with a course of 340 m.; the Usumacinta, which is formed by the confluence of the Chixoy and Pasion on the east frontier of Chiapas, and flows north-west across Tabasco to the Grijalva, with a course of 330 m.; and the Panuco, which has its source in the north-west of the state of Mexico and flows north-eastward to the Gulf of Mexico.
Among the tide-water lagoons, of which there are many along the Gulf coast, the best known are the Laguna de Terminos in Campeche, Tamiahua in Vera Cruz, Madre (130 m.
The Pacific coast has several deep and well sheltered bays; but they are separated from the interior by the rough and difficult ranges of the Sierra Madre Occidental.
They form the greater part of the Sierra Madre Oriental and also cover most of the central plateau.
The coast is low and extremely arid, and would be uninhabitable were it not for the proximity of the Sierra Madre, where a light rainfall is experienced, and for the numerous rivers that cross the arid belt between the mountains and the sea.
The windward slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental receive the greater part of the rainfall, and the winds, deprived of their moisture, pass over the northern plateau without further precipitation.
In the Southern Sierra Madre, the " oyamel " and " ocote pine are the giants of the forest, sometimes rising to a height of 100 ft.
They inhabit the western Sierra Madre region from Sinaloa southward to Chiapas, the higher plateau states, which region was the centre of their empire when Cortes conquered them, and parts of Vera Cruz, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Morelos, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosi.
It is celebrated because of the difficulties overcome on the precipitous eastern slopes of the Sierra Madre, the beauties of the mountain scenery through which it passes, and the rapid transition from the hot, humid coastal plain to the cool, arid plateau, 7924 ft.
Guatemala is naturally divided into five regions - the lowlands of the Pacific coast, the volcanic mountains of the Sierra Madre, the so-called plateaus immediately north of these, the mountains of the Atlantic versant and the plain of Peten.
(2) The precipitous barrier of the Sierra Madre, which closes in the coastal plains on the north, is similarly prolonged into Salvador and Mexico.
It is, however, impossible to subdivide the Sierra Madre into a northern and a volcanic chain; for the volcanoes are isolated by stretches of comparatively low countr y; at least thirteen considerable streams flow down between them, from the main watershed to the sea.
Viewed from the coast, the volcanic cones seem to rise directly from the central heights of the Sierra Madre, above which they tower; but in reality their bases are, as a rule, farther south.
(3) The so-called plateaus which extend north of the Sierra Madre are in fact high valleys, rather than table-lands, enclosed by mountains.
A few of the streams of the Pacific slope actually rise in the Altos, and force a way through the Sierra Madre at the bottom of deep ravines.
Retalhuleu, among the southern foothills of the Sierra Madre, is one of the centres of coffee production, and is connected by rail with the Pacific port of Champerico, a very unhealthy place in the wet season.
Other churches of some note are San Filippo Neri (1672-1772), the dome of which fell in just as it was approaching completion under the hands of Guarini and was restored by Juvara, and La Gran Madre de Dio, erected to commemorate the return of the royal family in 1814.
By the Sierra Madre, locally known as the Sierra de Nayarit and Sierra de Jalisco, which divides the state into a low heavily forested coastal plain and a high plateau region, part of the great Anahuac table-land, with an average elevation of about 5000 ft., broken by spurs and flanking ranges of moderate height.
Along the east coast of central and northern Luzon is the Sierra Madre range, rising in occasional peaks to more than 4500 ft.
High, Between the Sierra Madre and Caraballos Occidentales is the valley of the Cagayan river, about 50 m.
The town stands in a valley of an inland range of the Sierra Madre Oriental, at an elevation over 8000 ft.
The exhaustion, or alleged exhaustion, by irrigation in Colorado of the waters of the Rio Grande has raised international questions of much interest between Mexico and the United States, which were settled in 1907 by a convention pledging the United States to deliver 60,000 acre-feet of water annually in the bed of the Rio Grande at the Acequia Madre, just above Juarez, in case of drought this supply being diminished proportionately to the diminution in the United States.
Among the islands which thickly fringe this part of the coast, the largest are Azopardo (lying within Baker Inlet), Prince Henry, Campana, Little Wellington, Great Wellington and Mornington (of the Wellington archipelago), Madre de Dios, Duke of York, Chatham, Hanover, Cambridge, Contreras, Rennell and the Queen Adelaide group of small barren rocks and islands lying immediately north of the Pacific entrance to the Straits of Magellan.
Thence the line either follows the latter to its confluence with the Madre de Dios, or the water-parting between that river and the Tambopata or Pando, to the valley of the Madre de Dios, from which point it runs due north to 12° 40' S.
North of this elevation, which formed the southern shore of the ancient Mojos Lake, are the llanos of Guarayos and Mojos, occupying an extensive region traversed by the Guapore, San Miguel, Guapay, Mamore, Yacuma, Beni and Madre de Dios rivers and their numerous tributaries.
The lower slopes of the Andes, especially toward the north-west, where the country is traversed by the Beni and Madre de Dios, are covered with heavy forests.
The Beni and its great affluent, the Madre de Dios, though of smaller volume and extent than the Mamore, are of much greater economic importance, owing to their navigability, the fertility of the region they drain, and the great forests along their banks.
There still remain extensive areas of forest on the Beni and Madre de Dios in which the rubberproducing Hevea is to be found.
Above sea-level, between two spurs of one of the Sierra Madre ranges - the Cerro de la Silla (4149 ft.) on the east, and the Cerro de las Mitras (3618 ft.) on the west.
Of this the Isola Madre, the largest of the group, with a château and garden; and to the N.
The waters find their way to the falls of the Madeira by many great rivers, the principal of which, if we enumerate them from east to west, are the Guapore or Itenez, the Baures and Blanco, the Itonama or San Miguel, the Mamore, Beni, and Mayutata or Madre de Dios, all of which are reinforced by numerous secondary but powerful affluents.
Above its mouth, and is known to the Indians along its banks as the Mayutata, but the Peruvians call it the Madre de Dios.
As far as the Pilcopata river, where under:the name of Madre de Dios it continues with a flow of 22,000 cubic metres per minute.
From the time it receives the Manu, the Madre de Dios carries its immense volume of waters 4 85 m.
Of the city of Oaxaca in a knot of sierras, San Felipe del Agua (10,253 ft.) standing on the eastern margin of the beautiful Oaxaca Valley, and the Cerro del Leone, southwest of Tehuantepec, the highest summit in the Sierra Madre del Sur.
Its principal affluent is the Madre de Dios, or Mayu-tata, which rises in the eastern Cordilleras about 35 m.
The principal tributaries of the Madre de Dios are the Inambari and Paucartambo, both large rivers, and the Chandless, Marcapata, and Tambopata.
In length and size of its tributaries the Madre de Dios is a more important river than the Beni itself, and is navigable during the wet season to the foot of the Andes, 180 m.
The surface consists of a narrow coastal zone where tropical conditions prevail, a broad belt of mountainous country covered by the ranges of the Sierra Madre Occidental and their intervening valleys where oak and pine forests are to be found, and an intervening zone among the foothills of the Sierra Madre up to an elevation of 2000 ft., where the conditions are subtropical.
The state is roughly broken by the Sierra Madre and its spurs, which cover its entire surface with the exception of the low coastal plain (averaging about 20 m.
The capital, Chilpancingo, or Chilpancingo de los Bravos (pop. 7497 in 1900), is a small town in the Sierra Madre about 110 m.
Before an explosive, 1, r, d are often represented by i: saiga (saiga), vaiga (valga), laigo (iargo), maire (madre), paire (padre).
The most important are: Bezerros (17,484), Bom Jardim (40,160), Brejo da Madre de Deus (13,655), a town of the higher agreste region, Cabo (13,337), Caruaru (17,844), Escada (9331), Garanhuns (32,788, covering six towns and villages), Gloria de Goyta (24,554), Goyanna, Limoeiro (21,576), Olinda (8080), the old colonial capital and episcopal see, Rio Formosa (6080), Timbauba (9514) and Victoria (32,422).