Atacama: English

The Atacama Desert, Chile

Introduction: The Atacama desert (1)

Museo Virtual, Chile

W. Griem, 2006 - 2021

Atacama desert, Chile

Panoramic view of the Llano de Varas sector - Sierra Fraga - Atacama desert, Chile

Información Photo:
Cámara Kodak DX6490 | Focal length: 36,2mm (=218/35mm) | Shutter speed: 1:250 | F: f/4 | Original size: 2304 x 1728 | Date: 2007/06/9/17:31 hrs.

Atacama desert, Chile

Photo: Atacama Desert nearby Carrera Pinto  (Foto W. Griem; 2009; XSi 2483) - Large Photo

Información Photo:
Cámara Canon XSi | Lens: 17-70mm +pol. | Focal length: 36mm | Shutter speed: 1:160 | ISO100
F: f/6.3 | Original size: 4272 x 2848 | Date: 2009/07/10/14:54hrs.

Cactus in the Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama desert, Chile. (Panasonic-313; 2008) - Large Photo

Información Photo:
Cámara Panasonic DMC-FZ18 | Focal length: 42.9mm | Shutter speed: 1:400 | ISO100
F: f/5.6 | Original size (px): 3264 x 2448 | Date: 2009/01/12/12:19hrs.

The Andes: p.1 | p.2

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Information Chart
The Atacama Desert extends from the city of Copiapó to the north of the country. Between Copiapó and La Serena, the amount of rainfall increases gradually. The Atacama Desert in the Atacama Region can be characterized as a rocky desert. Dunes and other wind structures have formed in only a few places (see Atacama dunes). Precipitations are generally very scarce only towards the high mountain range increasing amounts.
Besides, the Atacama Desert can be divided into two different types: a) Heat desert corresponds to the low areas (approx. below 3400m above sea level), then the coastal mountain range, longitudinal valley, and part of the pre-medium range. Here the main climatic factors are heat and lack of precipitation. The mountain ranges, the salt flats depression, and parts of the pre-Mediterranean range belong more to a high-altitude cold desert type. In other words, the development of dense vegetation has its limitations mainly due to low temperatures. A certain increase in vegetation often recognizes the limits of both types of desert.

Rainfall is also very variable. Summers are dry; only in winter could be expected heavy rainfalls. In the high mountain range, heavy rain during the summer is typical, known for the phenomenon of "high plateau winter." In summer, the temperatures reach 30ºC during the day. At night, temperatures always drop to around 10º C. In the Pacific Ocean, the difference is not so marked.
Anyway, the desert climate affects all of nature, flora, fauna, morphology, and geology.

Desert climatic conditions produce extraordinary geological phenomena:
The morphology of arid sectors is entirely different in comparison to higher rainfall sectors. In the desert, there are various forms of weathering and erosion compared to "normal" places. The wind also plays a crucial role in the formation of the landscape.

 It is also necessary to mention the optical phenomena in the desert: Of course, the mythical reflection of buildings, boats, etc., does not exist - but a Fata Morgana that produces the "cut off hills" or something that can be a lake is not rare. Also, and that is the most notable thing, there are often no objects of comparison - trees, houses, etc., that allow our eye to estimate distances or heights. It means some distances are much shorter than others are much longer as initially estimated. See here Philippi's text HERE

The fauna and flora adapted in extraordinary ways to the harsh climatic conditions. The Atacama Desert is not a dead place, and life has adapted. You just have to search.
See fauna and flora module. HERE

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