Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Atacama desert facts

Facts about the Atacama are very interesting. The Atacama Desert is between the central Andes and Pacific Ocean in northern Chile. Located in northern Chile and extreme southern Peru, the Atacama Desert is located is perhaps the most unique physiographic location on earth. The Atacama Desert is also known as the Sechura Desert.

 It is driest desert in the world. The Atacama Desert lies between two mountain ranges on the west coast of South America, the Coastal Cordillera and the Andean Cordillera. The Coastal Cordillera ranges in elevation from 500 to 3000 meters, and the Andean Cordillera ranges in elevation from 5000 to 6000 meters.Unlike other deserts, such as the Sahara in Africa and the Mojave in California, the Atacama is actually a very cool place with an average daily temperature between 0 ° C and 25 ° C.
Although it seems difficult that there is life in the Atacama, the holes are isolated and small areas of plants that provide a life of some insects and animals. Some plants are very well adapted to this arid environment, the development of long roots that reach to the water below the ground.Since the Andes mountain ranges active volcano, magma pressure of underground water in certain places causing geysers.

The Atacama Desert is probably the oldest desert on earth and has experienced extreme hyperaridity for at least 3 million years and probably 15 million years.The climate of the Atacama Desert is largely controlled by its zonal location between 15° and 30°S in the sub-tropical high-pressure belt where descending stable air produced by the Hadley circulation significantly reduces convection and hence precipitation.

Special attractions are the huge salt lake “Salar de Atacama”, which is almost dried out, and the bizarre landscape formations like the “Valley of the Moon” or the hot springs “Tatio Geysers”.

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