INDUSTRY IN THE ATACAMA

Because of it rich mineral deposits, the chief industry is mining. When most people think of mining they think of deep shafts in the ground. In the Atacam most mining is done in open pits and some is actually done on the surface.

THE SALAR DE ATACAM

The Atacama region is covered with colorful Salars (salt flats) which are the mineral rich deposits covering the site of extinct lakes. They often look like they are filled with water even when they are dry. The king of Salars is the Salar de Atacam which serves as an unmistakable landmark even from space.

This close up view of a small Salar gives a clear idea of the dense mineral deposits left behind by the evaporating lakes originally filled with the mineral laden runoff of mountain snow caps.

TEST YOUR OBSERVING SKILLS

Here in the corner of the Salar de Atacam a sharp-eyed interpreter has spotted some suspicious shapes on the dry salt beds. It is actually an important clue to a local industry.

CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS ?

 

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