Atacama desert dating

The Atacama desert in South America has been in a super-dry state far longer than any other location on Earth - nearly 40 million years in some places.

Incredible landscapes, with volcanos, lagoons, salt flats, tiny pre-Hispanic settlements, as well as a wide variety of animal life such as llamas, vicunas, guanacos, alpacas, flamingos and wild duck, create a lasting impression of sheer beauty."Interlocking shear stresses build up so much and if they are released, they produce much stronger earthquakes than are seen in other areas," Dr Dunai explained.The region known as the North of Chile occupies an area equivalent in size to two thirds of Italy.The museum also houses a fine archeological collection of some 20,000 objects discovered in this area.From the road the huge geoglyphic paintings which adorn the hillsides are still visible through the olive groves and from the air they stand out even more clearly.

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