Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Atacama (Chile): the flourished desert

Atacama (Chile): the flourished desert

The Atacama Desert occupies the largest amount of the Chilean territory located north of the 29th parallel. The area located on the coast between Arica and Antofagasta appears in the Guinness Book of World Records as the driest place in the world. Nevertheless, to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the desert becomes kinder towards living beings. The coastal mists, "camanchacas", are more abundant south of Antofagasta and bring the humidity necessary for the maintenance of the coastal scenic vegetation. Many plants survive mainly because of the "camanchaca", and the harsh savings of water, in normal dry years, that causes them to delay important functions such as growth, to favor survival and reproduction.


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