1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Córdoba (province)

CÓRDOBA, a large central province of the Argentine Republic, bounded N. by Santiago del Estero, E. by Santa Fé, S. by Buenos Aires and La Pampa, W. by San Luis and Rioja, and N.W. by Catamarca. Pop. (1895) 351,223; (1904, estimate) 465,464; area, 62,160 sq. m. The greater part of the province belongs to the pampas, though less fertile and grassy than the plains farther E. and S. It likewise includes large saline and swampy areas. The N.W. part of the province is traversed by an isolated mountain system made up of the Córdoba, Pocho and Ischilin sierras, which extend for a distance of some 200 m. in a N. and S. direction. These ranges intercept the moist winds from the Atlantic, and receive on their eastern slopes an abundant rainfall, which gives them a strikingly verdant appearance in comparison with the surrounding plains. West and N.W. of the sierras are extensive saline basins called Las Salinas Grandes, which extend into the neighbouring provinces and are absolutely barren. In the N.E. the land is low and swampy; here are the large saline lagoons of Mar Chiquita and Los Porongos. The principal rivers, which have their sources in the sierras and flow eastward, are the Primero and Segundo, which flow north-easterly into the lacustrine basin of Mar Chiquita; the Tercero and Quarto, which unite near the Santa Fé frontier to form the Carcaraña, a tributary of the Paraná; and the Quinto, which flows south-easterly into the swamps of the Laguna Amarga in the S. part of the province. Countless small streams also descend the eastern slopes of the sierras and are lost in the great plains. The eastern districts are moderately fertile, and are chiefly devoted to cattle-breeding, though cereals are also produced. In the valleys and well-watered foothills of the sierras, however, cereals, alfalfa and fruit are the principal products. The rainfall is limited throughout the province, and irrigation is employed in but few localities. The mineral resources include gold, silver, copper, lead and iron, but mining is carried on only to a very limited extent. Salt and marble are also produced. Córdoba is traversed by several railway lines—those running westward from Buenos Aires and Rosario to Mendoza and the Chilean frontier, those connecting the city of Córdoba with the same cities, and with Tucuman on the N. and Catamarca and Rioja on the N.W. The chief towns are Córdoba, the capital, Rio Quarto, Villa Maria, an important railway centre 82 m. S.E. of Córdoba, and Cruz del Eje on the W. slopes of the sierras, 110 m. N.W. of Córdoba.