Weekly Photo: Salar de Atacama (Atacama Dry Lake), Chile

Weekly Photo: Salar de Atacama (Atacama Dry Lake), Chile

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Salar de Atacama, in Chile. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Francesco Mocellin.

*Click on image for full-sized view.

Salar de Atacama, or the Atacama Dry Lake, is a dry lake or salt flat located in between two portions of the Andes mountain range 55 km (34 mi) south of San Pedro de Atacama, in northeastern Chile. There are many volcanoes in this region, including the picturesque Licancabur volcano, which can be seen in the background of the above photo.

A dry lake is a kind of flat which has no outlet, so it gets full with rain and runoff of water from higher elevations, but loses water through evaporation. Since the Salar de Atacama’s basin is primarily salt, it is referred to as a salt flat.

The Salar de Atacama is the world’s largest active source of lithium, containing about a quarter of the world’s lithium base.

Christian "Krzysiek" Eilers is a twenty-something who constantly likes to look up the next flight out of JFK. His life goal is to visit every country in the world; as a young adult working full-time, he often settles on visiting the near countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean, knocking these off the list as it is less of a financial strain than Europe or Asia. Caffeine is his vice, and if he doesn't have a coffee in his hands, then it's probably a green tea. A native of New York City, when he is not traveling, he can find an abundance of cultural influences right in his own city, enough to keep him satisfied until the next country's beckon cannot be ignored any longer.

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