Atacama desert dating
The Atacama is an extremely dry hot desert environment which has an ancient stable surface dating back several million years.
These settings are highly productive meteorite concentration zones and to date there are ~1100 named meteorites that have been recovered (data from the Meteoritical Bulletin).
It may also explain why earthquakes in the region can be so large.
Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images.Ordinarily, the flashes of white in South America’s Atacama Desert rise from salt pans.But on July 7, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these images, much of the white came from a far rarer commodity: snow."These tectonic movements enabled cold ocean water upwellings at the western coast of South America.The cold ocean water stands in the way of precipitation along this coast." Uplifting story Dr Dunai is now looking into the theory that the dry conditions of the Atacama may have played a role in helping to drive up the Andes.