The Atacama Desert of Chile is a sparsely populated virtually
rainless plateau, running from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes Mountains. The average width
is less than 100 miles but it extends 600 miles south from the Peruvian border. The
mountains nearest the ocean are the Pacific coastal range, with an average elevation of
2500 feet. The Cordillera Domeyko, a range of foothills of the Andes Mountains, lies east.
The Atacama is made up of salt basins (salars) sand and lava flows. The landscape is so
desolate it is sometimes described as "moon like". In fact the Atacama has been
chosen as a good site to test the prototype of a future lunar rover.
WHAT DO THE PICTURES SHOW ?
Earth images taken from space show information
about a vast array of natural and human features. A good interpreter can tell much about
the climate, ecology, economy and geology of an area. Below you will see a composite of
the GeoCam photographic series. Five areas are marked as examples of five of the many
different types of information available. Go to the area that interests you the most or
visit them all in order. Save the mystery for last and you can try your hand as a photo