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Carachipampa Volcano and Red Beds, N.W. Argentina

32. Carachipampa Volcano and Red Beds, N.W. Argentina

The Argentinian puna, or high plain, forms the southern extremity of the Bolivian altiplano, a much smaller elevated plateau than that of Tibet. Illustrated in the picture is the area of Carachipampa, south of the small hamlet of Antofagasta de la Sierra. At center is a small basaltic andesite shield volcano, basically a scoria cone surrounded by an apron of lavas. To the left is a prominent outcrop of red beds (late Tertiary continental sediments) truncated against a fault. This is a reverse fault and is one of a series responsible for the elevation of the eastern part of the plateau.

Wind streaks are conspicuous in the photo. Prevailing winds blow from the northwest with great ferocity. At top right, ash entrained from a small scoria cone forms a dark streak, while at center the top part of the lava shield has been mantled by light, gypsiferous dust entrained from the shores of the playa lake. (The lake itself is a bright red color due to its high mineral and algae content.)

STS-8, August-September 1983. Picture #8-36-1388.

Right click here to download a high-resolution version of the image (8.75 MB)


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