INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Disentangling the concept of “South American Arid Diagonal”
RUBIO, MARÍA CLARA; RUBIO, CECILIA; RODRÍGUEZ, MARÍA DANIELA; GOMEZ, LAURA; ABRAHAM, ELENA MARÍA; GUIDA-JOHNSON, BÁRBARA
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Año: 2020 vol. 175
The term South American Arid Diagonal (SAAD) has been, and still is, widely used by the scientific community working in South America´s drylands. The present research relies on the assumption that such usage is made in a superficial manner, the SAAD being solely a locational reference which is systematically used by specialists in diverse disciplines to spatially circumscribe their work, but without enriching it with new contents or pondering all of its scopes. Bearing this in mind, we sought to dig deeper into the analysis of the origin and evolution of the SAAD´s concept in relation to scientific knowledge, and also give an account of its current use. To this end, we conducted a thorough review and systematic analysis of literature sources mentioning the SAAD, both those available in Internet search engines and in non-indexed documents. This was used as a basis to conduct a bibliometric and network analysis of 88 indexed publications. From the main results, it can be seen that most authors use the concept only as a spatial reference for their study sites, on many occasions using wrong quotes, frequently referring to “quotes of quotes”, ignoring the geographic extent of the concept and evidencing that, except for those of the founding authors, later contributions were not significant for gaining knowledge of the SAAD. The qualitative approach to non-indexed sources also allowed clearly identifying the authors who defined the concept, whose close connection with geographic science stands out noticeably. A correlation between the stages of evolution of geographic thought and the times at which contributions are made to the SAAD is evidence of the fundamental imprint of French Regional Geography. Despite its successive crises, booms and busts, the influence of this current on the definition of SAAD remains in force, and has remained so for over seventy years.