Atacama virtual: Englishwww.geovirtual2.cl
Museo Virtual, Chile
W. Griem, 2006 - 2021
Camera Ricoh KR-10x | Focal length: s/i | Shutter speed: s/i
Original size: 35mm | Date: 1997
Camera Canon 50D | Lens: 18-200mm | Focal length: 60mm | Shutter speed: 1:200 | ISO100
F: f/13 | Original size: 4752 x 3168 | Date: 2011/07/9/14:30hrs.
Sometimes it rains (see
more) in the desert. It is rare, but in some years heavy rains occur
during the winter months. The lack of a permanent hydrographic drainage
network means that water is searched for any way down. An average of 12
to 16 mm of annual precipitation is generally mentioned (climate
history timeline). This figure does not reflect reality, there are years,
almost dry decades and rainfall accumulates in one event, with
impressive amounts - but statistically reduced to 12 mm per year.
In some years the amount of water is enough that the desert blooms. In places without vegetation, flowers and plants appear in large numbers.
The heavy rains of March 2015 flooded large parts of the Copiapo Valley. The devastations caused by the mud flows were such that after 2 years the following are still clearly visible. (Here more: 2015-25M)
Some particularities of the Atacama Desert:
a) Low rainfall, average 12 mm / year
b) Extremely heavy, sporadic rainfall (such as in 1997)
c) Very high rate of evaporation and sublimation.
d) Soil hydrophobia produces little water penetration into the soil.
e) Lack of vegetation increases erosion.
f) Strong inclination of the tributaries produce very fast runs to the sea.
g) Low maturity of basins and tributaries - very short distances between feeding area and mouth produce strong variations in flow rates..
Any new publication not authorized by the
authors is expressly prohibited. This applies in particular to
If you have old photos or other (historical) material of the Atacama region, we would be very pleased to implement this in our pages: Contact