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Encyclopedia > Atacama Desert

Coordinates: 24°30′S, 69°15′W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

Atacama redirects here; for the political-administrative region of Chile, see Atacama Region.
Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is a virtually rainless plateau in South America, extending 966 km (600 mi) between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is created by the rain shadow of the Andes east of the desert. Its area is 181,300 square kilometers (70,000 mi²)[1], in northern Chile. It is made up of salt basins (salares), sand and lava flows, and is more than 20 million years old[2] and 50 times more arid than California's Death Valley. Atacama is Chiles third administrative region from north to south. ... Image File history File links Atacama1. ... Image File history File links Atacama1. ... For other meanings, see Plateau (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... This article is about the mountain range in South America. ... For the Australian television series see Rain Shadow (TV series). ... This article is about common table salt. ... Look up lava, Aa, pahoehoe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For other uses, see Death Valley (disambiguation). ...

Scene from Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) near San Pedro de Atacama.
Scene from Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) near San Pedro de Atacama.

Contents

Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 283 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Photograph of the moon valley (Valle de la luna) near San Pedro de Atacama in Chile taken by User:Zootalures in May 2004. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 283 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Photograph of the moon valley (Valle de la luna) near San Pedro de Atacama in Chile taken by User:Zootalures in May 2004. ...

Setting

The Atacama desert ecoregion, as defined by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), extends from a few kilometers south of the Chile-Peru border to about 30° south latitude.[3] To the north lies the Sechura Desert ecoregion, which is located predominantly in Peru with a small portion lying in Chile, whilst to the south is the Chilean Matorral ecoregion. To the east lies the less arid Central Andean dry puna ecoregion. The drier portion of this ecoregion is located south of the Loa River and west of the Cordillera Domeyko. To the north of the mentioned river lies the Pampa del Tamarugal. An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ... Note: After losing a court case in 2002 on the use of the initials WWF, the organization previously known as the World Wrestling Federation has rebranded itself as World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE. WWF - The Conservation Organization was formerly known as World Wildlife Fund and Worldwide Fund for Nature. ... The Sechura desert is a desert ecoregion of coastal Peru. ... The Chilean Matorral is a terrestrial ecoregion of central Chile, located on the west coast of South America. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...


Driest desert

See also: climate of Chile

Atacama is one of the driest places on Earth,[4] and is virtually sterile because it is blocked from moisture on both sides by the Andes mountains and by the Chilean Coast Range. The cold Humboldt Current and the anticyclone of the Pacific are essential to keep the dry climate of Atacama Desert. The average rainfall in the Chilean region of Antofagasta is just 1 mm per year. Some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain. Evidence suggests that the Atacama may not have had any significant rainfall from 1570 to 1971.[1] It is so arid that mountains that reach as high as 6,885 metres (22,590 feet) are completely free of glaciers and, in the southern part from 25°S to 27°S, may have been glacier-free throughout the Quaternary—though permafrost extends down to an altitude of 4,400 metres and is continuous above 5,600 metres. Studies by a group of British scientists have suggested that some river beds have been dry for 120,000 years. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... The Chilean Coast Range (Spanish: Cordillera de la Costa) is a mountain range that runs southward parallel with the Andean Mountains, from the morro de Arica to the Taitao Peninsula where it ends together with the Nazca Plate. ... ... In meteorology, an anticyclone (that is, opposite to a cyclone) is a weather phenomenon in which there is a descending movement of the air and a high pressure area over the part of the planets surface affected by it. ... Antofagasta is Chiles second administrative region from north to south. ... Perito Moreno Glacier Patagonia Argentina Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland Icebergs breaking off glaciers at Cape York, Greenland This article is about the geological formation. ... The Quaternary Period is the geologic time period from the end of the Pliocene Epoch roughly 1. ... While these two men dig in Alaska to study soil, the hard permafrost requires the use of a jackhammer In geology, permafrost or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water (0 °C or 32 °F) for two or more years. ...


Some locations in the Atacama do receive a marine fog known locally as the Camanchaca, providing sufficient moisture for hypolithic algae, lichens and even some cacti. But in the region that is in the "fog shadow" of the high coastal crest-line, which averages 3,000 m height for about 100 km south of Antofagasta, the soil has been compared to that of Mars. Due to its otherworldly appearance, the Atacama has been used as a location for filming Mars scenes, most notably in the television series Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets. For other uses, see Fog (disambiguation). ... For the programming language, see algae (programming language). ... For other uses, see Lichen (disambiguation). ... Subfamilies Cactoideae Maihuenioideae Opuntioideae Pereskioideae See also taxonomy of the Cactaceae A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is any member of the succulent plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas. ... Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system, named after the Roman god of war (the counterpart of the Greek Ares), on account of its blood red color as viewed in the night sky. ...

Atacama road.
Atacama road.

In 2003, a team of researchers published a report in Science magazine titled "Mars-like Soils in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and the Dry Limit of Microbial Life" in which they duplicated the tests used by the Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars landers to detect life, and were unable to detect any signs in Atacama Desert soil. The region may be unique on Earth in this regard and is being used by NASA to test instruments for future Mars missions. Alonso de Ercilla characterized it in La Araucana, published in 1569: "Towards Atacama, near the deserted coast, you see a land without men, where there is not a bird, not a beast, nor a tree, nor any vegetation" (quoted Braudel 1984 p 388). Another picture of Atacama desert with the sunset make it look like the desert is from Mars. ... Another picture of Atacama desert with the sunset make it look like the desert is from Mars. ... Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is considered one of the worlds most prestigious scientific journals. ... Viking 1 was the first of two spacecraft sent to Mars as part of NASAs Viking program, and holds the record for the longest Mars surface mission of 4 years and 28 days (from landing until mission termination). ... Frost on Mars. ... For other uses, see NASA (disambiguation). ... Alonso de Ercilla (1533 - 1594) was a Basque nobleman from Spain, and author of epic poem La Araucana. ... La Araucana is an epic poem in Spanish about the Spanish conquest of Chile, by Alonso de Ercilla; it is also known in English as The Araucaniad. ... Events January 11 - First recorded lottery in England. ...


Human occupation

The Atacama is sparsely populated. In an oasis, in the middle of the desert, at about 2000 meters elevation, lies the village of San Pedro de Atacama. Its church was built by the Spanish in 1577. In pre-hispanic times, before the Inca empire, the super-arid interior was inhabited mainly by the Atacameño tribe. It is most notable for the construction of fortified towns called pucara(s), one of which can be seen a few miles from San Pedro de Atacama. For the English rock band, see Oasis (band). ... San Pedro de Atacama is a pre-Inca town in northern Chile, and a popular tourist destination. ... For other meanings of Inca, see Inca (disambiguation). ... Remains of the Tulor settlement (800 BC) near San Pedro de Atacama Pukará de Quitor The Atacameños (also called Lickan-antay) were a Native American people who inhabited the Anden portion of the Atacama Desert. ...


During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries when under the Spanish Empire towns grew along the coast shipping ports for silver produced in Potosí and other mines. An anachronous map of the overseas Spanish Empire (1492-1898) in red, and the Spanish Habsburg realms in Europe (1516-1714) in orange. ... This article is about the chemical element. ... Potosí is a city, the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. ...


During the 19th century the desert came under control of Bolivia, Chile and Peru and soon became a conflictive zone due to unclear borders and the discovery of nitrate there. After the War of the Pacific in which Chile annexed most of the desert, cities in the zone grew into big international ports, and many Chilean workers migrated there. Trinitrate redirects here. ... For the conflict between Japan and the Allied powers in Asia and the Pacific Ocean from 1937 to 1945, which included World War II campaigns, see Pacific War. ...


The Escondida Mine and Chuquicamata are also located within the Atacama Desert. Categories: Stub | Mines ... One of the larger pits in the base of the open cast mine Chuquicamata copper mine in 1984 Chuquicamata, or Chuqui, as it is commonly called, is the second largest open pit copper mine in the world. ...


The Pan-American Highway runs through the Atacama in a north-south trajectory. The Pan American Highway from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. ...


Astronomical observatories

Because of its high altitude, nearly non-existent cloud cover, and lack of light pollution and radio interference from the very widely spaced cities, the desert is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations. The European Southern Observatory operates two major observatories in the Atacama: The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is an international astronomical organisation, composed and supported by ten countries from the European Union plus Switzerland. ... This article is about scientific observatories. ...

A new radio astronomy observatory, called ALMA, is being built in the Atacama by astronomers from Europe, Japan, and North America. Another radio astronomy observatory, ACT, is being built on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert. La Silla Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Chile with eighteen telescopes. ... Paranal Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on Cerro Paranal (120 km south of Antofagasta) and operated by the European Southern Observatory. ... One of the four telescopes that make up the VLT, named Kueyen. ... The Very Large Array, a radio interferometer in New Mexico, USA Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. ... Look up alma in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... North American redirects here. ... The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is currently under construction on Cerro Toco in Chile, and is scheduled to see first light in 2006. ...


Abandoned nitrate mining towns

The desert has rich deposits of copper and other minerals, and the world's largest natural supply of sodium nitrate, which was mined on a large scale until the early 1940s. The Atacama border dispute over these resources between Chile and Bolivia began in the 1800s. For other uses, see Copper (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mineral (disambiguation). ... Made of Porn and sex things Inhalation respiratory irritation Skin May cause irritation. ... Borders between Peru, Bolivia and Chile before the 1879 War of the Pacific (note: map does not faithfully represent some of the border, particularly the Bolivia-Argentina one. ...


Now the desert is littered with approximately 170 abandoned nitrate (or "saltpeter") mining towns, almost all of which were shut down decades after the invention of synthetic nitrate in Germany at the turn of the 20th century (see Haber Process).[citation needed] The towns include Chacabuco, Humberstone, Santa Laura, Pedro de Valdivia, Puelma, Maria Elena and Oficina Anita. The Haber process (also known as Haber–Bosch process) is the reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen, over an iron-substrate, to produce ammonia [1] [2] [3]. The Haber process is important because ammonia is difficult to produce, on an industrial scale. ... Chacabuco may refer to Argentina Chacabuco, Buenos Aires Chacabuco Partido Chile Chacabuco Province This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works are two former saltpeter refineries located in northern Chile. ...


One of the best examples of an abandoned mining town is that of Baquedano, which is home to one of the most technologically advanced train stations during the nitrate "white gold" boom of the early 20th century.[citation needed] While it is now almost completely abandoned, the remains of the station are untouched and seldom visited by outsiders. Only a few kilometers from Baquedano, on the Pan-American highway, is one of many makeshift cemeteries housing the remains of indigenous miners who were persuaded to work for the German mining operations. Many of the graves belong to children under the age of five, poisoned by the pollution kicked up during the mining process.[citation needed]

Map of the Atacama Desert from the CIA World Factbook.
Map of the Atacama Desert from the CIA World Factbook.

World Factbook 2004 cover The World Factbook is an annual publication by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with basic almanac-style information about the various countries of the world. ...

Protected areas

  • Pan de Azúcar National Park
  • Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve
  • La Chimba National Reserve

Pan de Azúcar National Park is a national park of Chile. ...

Legends

The Alicanto is a mythological bird of the desert of Atacama, pertaining to Chilean mythology. ... The Giant of Atacama. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Wright, John W. (ed.); Editors and reporters of The New York Times (2006). The New York Times Almanac, 2007, New York, New York: Penguin Books, 456. ISBN 0-14-303820-6. 
  2. ^ Tibor, Dunai(Dr.). Amazing Nature. http://www.nature-blog.com/2007/10/atacama-desert-dryest-place-on-earth.html. Retrieved 3/24/08
  3. ^ Terrestrial Ecoregions -- Atacama desert (NT1303). www.worldwildlife.org. Retrieved on 2008-03-11.
  4. ^ Boehm, Richard G.; Editors and writers of The World and Its People (2006). The World and Its People, 2005, Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe, 276. ISBN 0-07-860977-1. 

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Braudel, Fernand, The Perspective of the World, ISBN 0520081161, vol. III of Civilization and Capitalism 1984 (originally published in French, 1979).
  • Sagaris, Lake. Bone and dream : into the world's driest desert. 1st ed. -- Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, c2000. ISBN 0676972233

Fernand Braudel (August 24, 1902–November 27, 1985) was a French historian. ... Lake Sagaris (born 1956 in Montreal) is a Canadian journalist, poet and translator who lives in Chile. ...

See also

The Norte Grande (Big North, Far North) is one of the five natural regions on which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950. ... The Atacama Crossing is a six-day, 250 kilometer footrace across the Atacama Desert of Chile. ... Borders between Peru, Bolivia and Chile before the 1879 War of the Pacific (note: map does not faithfully represent some of the border, particularly the Bolivia-Argentina one. ... This is a list of deserts in the world ordered by area. ...

External links

This article is about arid terrain. ... The Danakil Desert lies in north eastern Ethiopia and in southern Eritrea, where it forms the Southern Red Sea district. ... The template of this page is being worked at Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecoregions/Template. ... Kalahari redirects here. ... Desert landscape in Southern Libya The Libyan Desert (Arabic: الصحراء الليبية) is an African desert that is located in the northern and eastern part of the Sahara Desert and occupies southwestern Egypt, eastern Libya and northwestern Sudan. ... Dune 7, one of the highest sand dunes in the world (ca. ... Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert, is in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert, it spans 407, 000 km2 or 157,000 square miles of northeastern Sudan between the Nile and the Red Sea, at . ... Nyiri Desert, also called The Nyika or Tarudesert, is a desert in Kenya. ... The Richtersveld National Park is situated in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, a mountainous desert landscape characterised by rugged kloofs, high mountains and dramatic landscapes. ... Map of the Ténéré The Ténéré is a desert region in the south central Sahara. ... A photo of a rock formation in Egypts White Desert The Farafra Oasis is an isolated oasis located in Western Egypt. ... The Aral Karakum desert lies north of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan. ... The Badain Jaran Desert can be found in western Inner Mongolia. ... A remote, arid, and rugged area of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... This page contains special characters. ... The Indus Valley Desert is a desert ecoregion of northern Pakistan. ... The Karakum Desert, also spelled Kara-Kum and Gara Gum (“Black Sand”) (Turkmen: Garagum, Russian: Каракумы) is a desert in Central Asia. ... The Desert of Kum-tagh is a section of the Gobi Desert which lies east-southeast of the Desert of Lop. ... The Kyzyl Kum (Uzbek: red sand; also called Qyzylqum) is a desert in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. ... Ordos Desert 1912 The Ordos Desert (Chinese: 鄂尔多斯沙漠; Pinyin: ÈěrduōsÄ« Shāmò) is a desert and steppe region lying on a plateau in the south of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Qaidam, also spelt Tsaidam, is an arid basin in Qinghai, western China. ... The Registan Desert is an extremely arid plateau region located between Helmand and Kandahar provinces in southwestern Afghanistan. ... The Saryesik Atyrau Desert stretches for about 400 km south of Lake Balkhash in eastern Kazakhstan. ... Dust storm in Taklamakan Desert from space, June 25, 2005 The Taklamakan Desert (also Taklimakan) is a desert of Central Asia, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... The Tengger desert (腾格里沙漠) covers about 36,700 square km and is in the Gansu Province in China. ... Thal desert is situated in Punjab Pakistan. ... A NASA satellite image of the Thar Desert, with the India-Pakistan border superimposed is found in canada, united states. ... Derawar Fort in Cholistan. ... Tottori Sand Dunes The Tottori Sand Dunes ) are unique sand dunes located near Tottori City in Tottori Prefecture, HonshÅ«, Japan. ... The Ustyurt Plateau, Ustyurt also spelled Ust-Urt and Usturt (Kazakh: Ãœstirt, Turkmen: Ãœstyurt), is a central Asian plateau in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, between the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea. ... A four wheel drive in the Gibson Desert The Gibson Desert is a Western Australian desert made up of sandhills and dry grass. ... Location of deserts in Australia This article is about the Australian desert. ... The IBRA regions, with Great Victoria Desert in red The Great Victoria Desert is a barren, arid, and sparsely populated desert ecoregion in southern Australia. ... The Little Sandy Desert is desert in Australia, located in Western Australia near the Great Sandy Desert. ... Mount Arkaringa in the Painted Desert Created over 80 million years, the Painted Desert in South Australia, distinct from Painted Desert in Arizona is just as spectacular with its multi-hued terrain. ... Say the word desert, and the usual definition conjured up is one of dry land that rarely if ever sees rain. ... Ted Colsons expedition across the Simpson Desert in 1936 The Simpson Desert occupies approximately 170,000 square kilometres of central Australia[1]. It is bounded to the west by the Finke River and Mabel Range, to the north by Adam Range, to the east by the Georgina and Diamantina... Bore Track in the Strzelecki Desert, South Australia. ... The Tanami Desert is a desert in northern Australia. ... The Western Desert refers to a large tract of desert in the west of Australia, comprising the Gibson Desert, the Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts. ... Bardenas Reales is a semi-desert in Navarre, Spain. ... BÅ‚Ä™dów Desert (Polish: ) - desert in Upper Silesian Industry Region (Poland / European Union) at bound Metropolis Katowice. ... Foggy morning on the Deliblato Sands. ... The Highlands of Iceland cover most of the interior of Iceland. ... The Ryn Desert or Ryn-Peski Desert, is a desert in western Kazakhstan, north of the Caspian Sea and southeast of the Volga Upland. ... A view of the badlands in the Granada Plateau (Hole of Guadix). ... The ad-Dahna desert is the central division of the Arabian desert. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Dasht-e Kavir desert: satellite photograph Dasht-e Kavir (دشت كوير in Persian), also known as Kavir-e Namak or Great Salt Desert is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian Plateau. ... As seen from space Dasht-e Lut is a large salt desert in southeastern Iran. ... Desert hills in southern Judea, looking east from the town of Arad Judea or Judaea (יהודה Praise, Standard Hebrew Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Yəhûḏāh) is a term used for the mountainous southern part of historic Palestine, an area now divided between Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. ... The Nefud or An-Nafud is a desert area in the northern part of the Arabian peninsula, occupying a great oval depression; 180 mi (290 km) long and 140 mi (225 km) wide. ... This article is about the desert area Rub’ al Khali (more properly pronounced as ar-Rub ah-Hali, see Pronunciation in the Arabic Language section), of the Arabian Peninsula. ... :For the light machine gun see IMI Negev. ... The Syrian Desert (Arabic: ), also known as the Syro-Arabian desert, is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in parts of the nations of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. ... Tihamah or Tihama (Arabic: []) is a narrow coastal region of Arabia on the Red Sea. ... This is a list of North American deserts. ... The Alvord Desert is a desert in the southeastern part of the American state of Oregon. ... Amargosa Desert The Amargosa Desert is located in western Nevada, USA, along the border with California. ... The Baja California desert is a Desert ecoregion of Mexicos Baja California Peninsula. ... The Black Rock Desert is a dry lake bed in northwestern Nevada in the United States. ... DrumHeller Channels The Channeled Scablands are unique geological erosion features in the U.S. state of Washington. ... Map of the Chihuahuan Desert. ... The Colorado Plateau, also called the Colorado Plateaus Province, is a physiographic region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. ... The Great Salt Lake Desert is a large playa in northern Utah, located west of the Great Salt Lake. ... The route of Jornada del Muerto trail. ... For the indigenous American tribe, see Mohave. ... The Nkmip Desert, (pronounced In-ka-meep) Is a desert found in British Columbia, Canada. ... Painted Desert, Arizona Painted Desert, Arizona. ... The Smoke Creek Desert is found in northwestern Nevada in the United States. ... Map of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. ... Cape of the Vela, La Guajira Desert by the Caribbean Sea. ... The Monte Desert, is a South American desert, located within the country of Argentina. ... Astronaut photography of the Patagonian Desert (most of the view) contrasted with the Limay River, seen flowing eastward from the Andes. ... The Sechura desert is a desert ecoregion of coastal Peru. ... The Tatacoa Desert The Tatacoa Desert (Spanish for Desierto de la Tatacoa) is a desert located in the Colombian Department of Huila, some 38 km from the city of Neiva. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... This is a list of deserts in the world ordered by area. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Atacama Desert - MSN Encarta (326 words)
Atacama Desert, arid region in northern Chile, bounded on the west by mountains along the Pacific Coast and on the east by the Andes Mountains.
With rainfall occurring only two to four times a century, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest regions in the world.
Consequently, vegetation in the Atacama is extremely sparse, with the exception of a few irrigated oases.
Atacama Desert – FREE Atacama Desert Information | Encyclopedia.com: Facts, Pictures, Information! (1407 words)
Atacama Desert, arid region, c.600 mi (970 km) long, N Chile, extending south from the border of Peru.
The desert itself, c.2,000 ft (610 m) above sea level, is a series of dry salt basins flanked on the W by the Pacific coastal range, averaging c.2,500 ft (760 m) high, and on the E by the Andes.
Sandboarding the dragon: Iquique, Chile, nestled between the Pacific and the Atacama Desert, is the birthplace of dune surfing.(SWEAT)
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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