Showing posts with label Bolivia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bolivia. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 April 2018

El Tatio, The Third Largest Geyser Field in the World

El Tatio is a geyser field located within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile along the border between of Bolivia. Before the sun starts to rise, early morning more than 60 geysers, hot springs, mud pools, mud volcanoes and many fumaroles spew hot waters and steam. The largest geyser in the southern hemisphere is 4.320 meters above sea level. El Tatio is also third largest geyser field in the world, (after Yellowstone in the U.S. and the Valley of Geysers on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia) covers an area of 12 square miles seeping steam across its surreal expanse. The El Tatio geyser field is a spectacular sight, a dreamlike high-altitude location surrounded by stratovolcanoes that form part of the local geothermal system. Geothermal power is the energy that comes from the internal heat of the Earth, and where the heat flow from the interior of the globe is sufficiently high can be used both for heating purposes and for the generation of electrical power.
El Tatio has extremophile microorganisms, which is possible of analogous example of life on early Earth and potential past life on Mars. The exclusive environment of El Tatio “provides a better environmental analog for Mars than those of Yellowstone National Park and other well-known geothermal sites on Earth.” Depending on the season, the hot springs yield 0.25–0.5 cubic meters per second of water at temperatures reaching the local boiling point. The Chilean government and private companies are looking the idea of harnessing the geothermal energy, but could not succeed due to El Tatio’s remote location and environmental concerns have stalled any geothermal power projects. In 2010, the site was declared a protected area, however tourism remains the main business at El Tatio. The el Tatio, geyser field is also known as the Copacoya geysers.
The first geothermal prospecting of the field occurred in the 1920s particularly noticeable in cold weather. The field once numbered 67 geysers and more than 300 hot springs, as some geyser fountains reached heights of over 10 meters usually however they do not exceed 1 meter.  The hydrothermal activities are main reason of discoloring the several volcanoes of El Tatio volcanic group. El Tatio is a tourism destination, with substantial amounts of travelers both from Chile and other countries play an integral part of economic resource for the region, as more than 400 daily visitors comes here to see these exclusive geysers.
The water is rich in minerals, especially sodium chloride, rubidium, strontium, bromine, magnesium, cesium, lithium, arsenic, sulfate, boron, potassium, silica and calcium. Hydrothermal alteration at El Tatio, has also yielded large deposits of alteration minerals such as illite, nobleite, smectite, teruggite and ulexite. Moreover, El Tatio and a number of other geothermal fields have been dominated by andesitic volcanism producing lava flows until the late Miocene, large scale ignimbrite activity took place between 10 and 1 million years ago. The toxic minerals like arsenic which pollutes a numbers of waters in this area, causing health issues in the population. The climate is dry falling between December and March, rather windy, which influences the hot springs by enhancing evaporation. This region has extreme temperature variations between day and night. El Tatio lies at high altitude, regularly leading to altitude sickness, and the cold dry climate creates further danger.
Further El Tatio area has exposure to the hot gases and water can result in burn injuries, and both sudden eruptions of geysers and fountains and fragile ground above vents and above boiling water, concealed beneath thin covers of solid ground, increase the risk to unwary travelers. The hot spring waters enter the ground east and south east of El Tatio is controlled by the permeability of the volcanic material. Unlike geothermal fields in wetter parts of the world, given the dry climate of the area local precipitation does have little influence on the hot springs hydrology at El Tatio. The time the water takes to traverse the whole path from precipitation to the springs is about 15 years.
The water travels through a number of aquifers which correspond to permeable rock formations through faults and fractures in the rock. Magmatic brine is mixed into this water and the mixture ultimately becomes the water that emerges at El Tatio. This area dry grassland vegetation are  Tussock grasses like Anatherostipa, Festuca, Stipa while rosette and cushion plants, Azorella, Chaetanthera, Mulinum, Senecio, Lenzia, Pycnophyllum and Valeriana. El Tatio geyser field, one of San Pedro de Atacama’s most popular surrounding attractions, so don’t miss whenever you go Chile. The natural marveling at the geothermal wonders provides breathtaking views for taking pictures.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Stone Trees of Bolivia

There are so many huge rocks in special shapes in of Sur Lípez Province, Bolivia. The force of water and wind cannot be underestimated, because Mother Nature is a great artist and can shape any surface into his own will. Similarly, Árbol de Piedra also called "stone tree" is an isolated rock formation in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve of Sur Lípez Province. The Siloli Desert, one of the driest places in the world, features a rocky outcropping with one formation in particular getting all the attention. The much photographed, it projects out of the altiplano sand dunes of Siloli in the Potosí Department, about 18km north of Laguna Colorada.
Siloli Desert has been whittled down into the exclusive shape of stone trees over time by sand and 120km/h winds that whip across 4,000m high Bolivian Altiplano in the colder months. Much looking like wind, sand, and water can sculpt out of the earth! This particular Bolivian reserve and arid, stark desert horizon coupled with strange rock formations strike a strong resemblance to the famous surrealist’s work. Moreover, the base of the rock has been weathered away by wind and time, while the top remained intact.
The seemingly incredible structure stands about 23 feet tall and casts its shadow even longer across the flat sandy desert. The "Stone Tree," shaped like a stunted tree about 7 m high, particularly the thin stem, are due to strong winds carrying sand and eroding the soft sandstone. This is Bolivia most famous natural places look like the head of dinosaur in the middle of arid desert which is unbelievable and especially interesting to see how the colors changing during one hour that you’d have been there. The more attraction adjacent to Árbol de Piedra are the salt flats portion, incredible scenery, Red lagoons, green lagoons, white lagoons, volcanoes, beautiful rock formations, hot springs, geothermal geyser fields and colorful, rainbow mountain ranges.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Laguna Verde, Bolivia

Southwest Bolivia contains some of the world's wildest and most remarkable landscapes, including the Laguna Verde, backed by the dormant 19,555ft Licancábur volcano. Laguna Verde is also called "green lake" actually a salt lake in an endorheic basin, in the southwestern Altiplano in the Sur Lípez Province of the Potosí Department in Bolivia. Laguna Verde is close to the Chilean border, at the foot of the volcano Licancabur. In the backdrop of the lake there is the perfectly cone shape inactive volcano Licancabur is believed that an ancient crypt used to be at its peak. Moreover NASA used the upper reaches of Licancábur for tests to prepare for future missions to Mars.
The Laguna Verde covers an area of 1700 ha, and a narrow causeway divides it into two parts. It is at the southwestern extremity of the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve and Bolivia itself. It has mineral suspensions of arsenic and other minerals which renders color to the lake waters. Its color varies from turquoise to dark emerald depending on the disturbance caused to sediments in the lake by winds. Therefore, icy cool winds are a common marvel here and lake waters can reach temperatures as low as -56 degree C but because of its chemical composition its waters still remain in a liquid state. It is 30 kilometers far from Palques Lake. This is one of some striking colored lakes, including the Laguna Colorada, where the fiery red waters and arctic-white shores a result of salt and borax deposits contrast with the colors of the lake's three species of breeding flamingos. Moreover you can climb the volcano or join a tour of the lakes and other landscapes, including the vast and similarly celebrated salt pans to the north.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Salar de Uyuni: The Nature Best Piece on Planet Earth

The South America salt flats in Bolivia are a natural wonder that are not only awe-inspiring, but also seem to be the best place to play with perspective. With reflections that play tricks on the eye and constant bright sunshine, Salar de Uyuni is a veritable dreamland for the photographer with a sense of humor. Salar de Uyuni also called Salar de Tunupa (can be translated from Spanish as ‘salt flat enclosure’) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers. Salar de Uyuni is located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an elevation of 3,656 meters above sea level.

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average elevation variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world's known lithium reserves, which is in the process of being extracted. The large area, clear skies, and exceptional flatness of the surface make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of Earth observation satellites. The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of flamingos. Salar de Uyuni is also a climatological transitional zone since the towering tropical cumulus congestus and cumulonimbus incus clouds that form in the eastern part of the salt flat during the summer cannot permeate beyond its drier western edges, near the Chilean border and the Atacama Desert. The Salar de Uyuni also holds other associated records when flooded, it becomes the largest mirror in the world, and it also holds the largest land reserves of lithium.

There are a lot of places on Earth considered to be spectacular in a unique and mysterious fashion. Bolivia’s popular salt flats or Salar de Uyuni definitely qualifies. One of the most popular attractions in Salar de Uyuni is a cemetery for trains! It contains all the trains that were used in mining during the 1940s and currently attracts thousands of tourists every year. Moreover, at times the salt flat is covered in very clear water, making it the largest natural mirror in the world, an estimated 11 billion tons of salt is believed to be within Salar de Uyuni. There are 80 species of birds (visiting and migrating) at Salar de Uyuni, including three species of flamingos, as well as a few islands, where the main foliage is cacti, as well as hot springs and geysers.. It was believed that Salar de Uyuni was completely flat, but later some small undulations were discovered on the surface. NASA uses Salar de Uyuni, since it is unmoving and easily spottable, to figure the positioning of NASA’s satellite. To be honest strictly speaking not a real lake, since almost completely dried up, the Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt desert we can observe on Earth, surrounded by mountains, water evaporation, leaving behind the heavy elements and salt residues. The Salar de Uyuni simply is the largest land reserve of salt in the world, which has a surprisingly high rate of lithium, the same metallic element that we're using in our computer's lithium batteries. The salt desert actually represents by itself, one-third of the known reserves of this element.

And when it's rainy season, and the desert becomes a lake, the water salinity and the underlying layer allow the light to be perfectly reflected, so as lake turns into the largest mirror in the world. It is so flat and calm that it gives the best opportunity for the calibration of satellite, 5 times more efficient compared to a conventional waterbody (sea or another lake).

Friday, 19 February 2016

The Gate of Sun, Bolivia

The Gate of Sun is constructed by Tiwanaku culture of Bolivia more than 1500 years ago. The Gate of Sun is a megalithic solid stone arch located near Lake Titicaca near La Paz, Bolivia.  The Gate of Sun is almost 9.8ft tall and 13 ft wide and constructed single piece of stone. The Gate of Sun is rediscovered by European Explorers in the mid of 19th century. Megalith was lying horizontally and had a massive crack going through it and weight is more than 10 tons. The Gate of Sun is still stands in the same situation where it was found. 

Somehow, many people believed that is not original location which remains uncertain.  However, few elements of Tiwanaku iconography spread throughout Peru and parts of Bolivia. Moreover, different modern interpretations of the secretive inscriptions have been found on the object the engravings that adorn the gate are thought to possess astronomical and/or astrological implication and may have used for calendrical purpose connotations and look like human-like beings with wings and curled-up tails, and appear to be wearing rectangular “helmets”, though interpretations differ.

Furthermore, various people believe that Gate of Sun was used as a calendar, called it “The Calendar Gate” reflects a solar year. It wasn’t fit into the solar year, because calendar year has 290 days as off now by dividing into 12 months of 24 days each. However, other theories suggest it was used as a portal to another dimension may be the mysterious land. So, it is believed Tiahuanaco as the place of creation and important place to visit. Source: Charismatic Planet