The areas in the north of the state are characterised by the elevated plateau on which they lie. From this plateau, a number of low mountains stretch across the
state, broken by the grassy plains of the west and the coastal zone of the east.
his geographical diversity ensures that Rio Grande do Sul is home to a vast array of plant and animal life.
A full third of the state lies in the La Plata drainage basin.
Rio Grande do Sul has a subtropical climate with four distinctive seasons. Summers become very hot, while winters are cold and wet. The coastal belt is occupied by dense evergreen subtropical forests.
The interior forests that line the lower part of the plateau slopes are semi-deciduous, which means that many of them are only laden with leaves during spring and summer.
The industrial, service and agricultural sectors make up for the largest contributions to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) respectively. In fact, Rio Grande do Sul is one of the most prosperous states in all of Brazil. Its main exports include footwear, soybeans and tobacco.