Dust and aerosols in the Atacama Desert

Arenas, Franko; Fuentes Bárbara; Reyers, Mark; Fiedler, Stephanie; Böhm, Christoph; Campos, Eduardo; Shao, Yaping; Bol, Roland

Keywords: atacama desert, dust, deposition, aerosol, mars, fog, nitrates, sulfates, Hyperarid, Soil initiation, Salt deposits


The Atacama Desert is one of the driest and oldest deserts on Earth. The extreme scarcity of rainfall and hence very limited runoff, paired with endorheism, allow sediments and deposited materials to largely remain in the pedosphere for long periods of time, thereby leading to the generation of thick sediment, salt, and soil deposits. Aerosols are the main inputs of exogenous material to this system. The dominant aerosols deposited in the region are from sea spray, soil and salar playa deflation, volcanic emissions, along with secondary aerosols. The whole Atacama region receives particulate matter (minerals, salts, organic compounds, and microorganisms of variable content) from the Pacific Ocean, the coastal desert, and the Andes Cordillera and Altiplano. Some water may reach the western margin of the Atacama hyper arid core due to fog advection via the Coastal Cordillera. However, despite its aridity, large dust outbreaks from the Atacama Desert are rare. Atmospheric deposition is of great relevance for the landscape evolution of the Atacama Desert. This review summarizes current knowledge on the evolution of the landscape and the climatic conditions that led to it, and the salt and soil deposits, along with other geophysical features, in order to identify the frontier of aerosol research in the Atacama Desert.

Más información

Título de la Revista: EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS
Volumen: 226
Número: NA
Fecha de publicación: 2022
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 26
Idioma: Ingles
Financiamiento/Sponsor: This project was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – SFB-1211 – 268236062, the chilean National Agency for Research and Development (ANID)/ Beca Doctorado Nacional/ 2018 – 21181718, and CONICYT MEC 80180018 pr
URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825222000095


Notas: WOS