|The inspiration to make a video/photo montage of this area came a long time ago.I always loved mountains when combined with desert areas. So, after much digging, research, sourcing, and looking for some collaboration, I found Noam Fein who generously released some beautiful images to me, making this project possible. Some images are from an area north of the Atacama which has more lakes and some precipitation.Music: Precious by DJ Answer at http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/99776
Also included in this project, aerial images from the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA) taken from satellites above the earth, so as to get a “birds-eye” view of the area while animating it as if in real flight.. There are also some paintings and images by unknown indian artists.
Additional Background, History and Information
Ecodesert Region – The Atacama Desert is a virtually rainless plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the Andes mountains. The Atacama desert is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world. The rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range, as well as a coastal inversion layer created by the cold offshore Humboldt Current, keep this over 20 million-year-old desert 50 times drier than California’s Death Valley.
The Atacama occupies 40,600 square miles (105,000 km2) in northern Chile, composed mostly of salt basins (salares), sand, and lava flows.
The Atacama Desert ecoregion, extends from a few kilometers south of the Chile-Peru border to about 30° south latitude. To the north lies the Sechura Desert ecoregion, in Peru, while to the south is the Chilean Matorral ecoregion. The National Geographic Society considers the coastal area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama desert, including the deserts south of the Ica Region.
To the east lies the less arid Central Andean dry puna ecoregion. The drier portion of this ecoregion is located south of the Loa River between the parallel Sierra Vicuña Mackenna and Cordillera Domeyko. To the north of the mentioned river lies the Pampa del Tamarugal.
People – The Atacama is sparsely populated. In an oasis, in the middle of the desert, at about 2,000 metres (7,000 ft) elevation, lies the village of San Pedro de Atacama. Its church was built by the Spanish in 1577. In pre-Hispanic times, before the Inca empire, the extremely arid interior was inhabited mainly by the Atacameño tribe. The tribe is noted for the construction of fortified towns called pucara(s), one of which can be seen a few kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama.
History – During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries under the Spanish Empire, towns grew along the coast as shipping ports for silver produced in Potosí and other mines.
During the 19th century the desert came under control of Bolivia, Chile and Peru and soon became a zone of conflict due to unclear borders and the discovery of nitrate there. After the War of the Pacific, in which Chile annexed most of the desert, cities along the coast developed into international ports, and many Chilean workers migrated there.
The Pan-American Highway runs through the Atacama in a north-south trajectory.
Pix In Motion