Snow pinnacles in Atacama desert

Snow pinnacles in Atacama desert

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Credit: SIMON FRASER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Photograph showing the neve penitentes in the altitude desert of Puna de Atacama, in a valley at 5200m, Chile. These snow pinnacles, when seen edge on in the direction of the sun's passage (east-west), appear to be very sharp, narrow pinnacles. When seen face on, as in this picture, they appear much wider and more conical in shape. Gradually the sun erodes them and they collapse, to be reformed the next season after the accumulation of winter snow in the shallow valleys in which they lie.

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Keywords: chile, desert, desert landscape, environment, geography, high altitude, neve penitentes, puna de atacama

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