Lascar Volcano (NASA, July 1995). With the exception of the road (light-colored,
linear feature) along the eastern edge of the great salt flat, Salar De Atacama
(left middle), little evidence of human presence can be observed in this remote
and arid region of northern Chile. Characterized by dramatic elevation changes,
numerous volcanic features and a variety of eolian and fluvial landforms can be
identified in this arid environment.
The western side (left) of the image is roughly 2286 m above
sea level. Just 40 km to the east, the average elevation of the Andes
Mountains increases to approximately 5486 m. Several stratovolcanoes, including Lascar Volcano, may be recognized by a pronounced
radial drainage (erosional) pattern on the flanks of the volcanoes. Lascar
Volcano, located (slightly above and left of center) by the V-shaped ash plume
that extends eastward from the April 1993 eruption, is barely discernible.
Several highly reflective (whitish) salars (salt flats) are scattered throughout
the high altitude terrain. The boundaries of two large salars (Salar De Aquas
Calientes-center of image- and Salar De Quisquiro-near upper right corner) can
be mapped. The darker, somewhat paralleling lines, aligned east-west along the
western slopes of the Andes Mountains (left edge), are fluvial landforms; while,
the less distinct features (paralleling lines in the upper right corner) are the
result of eolian processes.
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