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Related to Atacama: Titicaca
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(in Indian—desert area), a desert in northern Chile, on the western slopes of the Andes. It is about 1,000 km long and includes the coastal cordillera—with elevations of up to 3,200 m—the longitudinal valley, and the western slopes of the Cordillera de Domeyko—with elevations to 4,325 m. Atacama belongs to the category of so-called coastal deserts, which form under the influence of the outlying eastern area of subtropical anticyclones. Its climate is a tropical trade-wind climate and is relatively cool because of the effects of the cold Peruvian current. On the coast the average January temperature is about 20°C, and the average July temperature is about 13° C. Precipitation, which does not occur every year, averages less than 50 mm per year. The spring and winter relative humidity on the coast reaches 82 percent; cloudiness reaches 85 percent. At elevations of up to 600 m, fog (camanchaca) and light drizzle (garua) are typical. Occasional water currents from the Andes dry up or are channeled off for irrigation; only the Loa River reaches the ocean.

The surface of the Atacama is primarily covered with moving sands, detritus, and saline soils. The coastal strip becomes covered with loma-type temporary vegetation during periods of fog. On coastal cliffs and islets there are seashore bird colonies and deposits of guano. On the eastern foot of the coastal cordillera there are unique deposits of sodium and potassium nitrates, borax, iodine, and common salt. The largest deposits of copper in the capitalist world— Chuquicamata, El Salvador, and others—are located on the western slopes of the Andes.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In sum, water in the Atacama Desert is a nonrenewable resource and according to the World Resources Institute, Chile appears among the 25 countries most likely to be water-stressed in 2040 (Tianyi et al.
When Schulze-Makuch and his collaborators went to the Atacama for the first time in 2015 to study how organisms survive in the soil of Earth's driest environment, the craziest of things happened.
"Scientists returned to the Atacama in 2016 and 2017 for follow-up visits and discovered that the same microbial communities in the soil were gradually reverting to their dormant state.But they did not completely die off.
Peter Willis of JPL, the project's principal investigator, said in ( the Thursday statement : "The Atacama served as a proving ground to see how this technology would work on an arid planet like Mars.
The Purickuta Project consist of 160 hectares and is one of a few "exploitation concessions" granted within the Salar de Atacama, home to approximately 37% of the worlds Lithium production.
Instead, they think the answer is the Central Andean Pluvial Events, the theory that at one point, there was more rain in the Andes Mountains, and that water trickled into the Atacama Desert.
The 'Atacama -- CT' breathing air dryer is controlled by the proven Hi-line HDC 1 controller.
The Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies (ARADS) project has just completed its first deployment after one month of fieldwork in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, the "driest place on Earth." Despite being considerably warmer than Mars, the extreme dryness the soil chemistry in this region are remarkably similar to that of the Red Planet.
Stage 5, last day of the race, will take place between Huasco and La Serena-Coquimbo with a total of 249 km out of which 103 will be timed and will define the winners of the Atacama Rally 2015.
The helicopter went missing on Tuesday while helping in the aftermath of a flood that badly affected the regions of Atacama, Antofagasta and Coquimbo.
By using available global datasets, a semiempirical model for the surface solar radiation over northern Chile, and a network of surface stations, we confirm Atacama as the place where the highest mean surface solar radiation is found.