Taxonomy term

andes mountains

Travels in Geology: Sky-high adventure on Bolivia's Altiplano

Nestled between two ranges of the rugged Andes Mountains, the Altiplano is a vast, windswept plateau that stretches from southern Peru to northern Argentina, offering stunning, vividly colored vistas — from the snow-white crystals of the world’s largest salt flats and flocks of pink flamingos in a brick-red lake to the startlingly azure waters of Lake Titicaca.
13 Sep 2017

Turtle finds lower Altiplano elevation estimate

Rare turtle fossils uncovered in Bolivia suggest that, about 13 million years ago, the southern portion of South America’s Altiplano — the arid, high-elevation plateau immediately west of the Andes — was far lower than previously thought.

29 Apr 2016

Colonial mining left its mark in Andean ice cores

When Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia, they found a landscape rich in silver. Now, scientists have found evidence of Europe’s voracious demand for the metal hidden in tropical ice cores, which contain a record of colonial mining pollution stretching back to the 1600s.
11 Jun 2015

Travels in Geology: Skiing into the heart of an Andean Volcano

What is it like to descend into a volcanic caldera? The author — a geoscience education consultant and ski instructor — travels to South America to find out.

17 Mar 2015

Travels in Geology: Peru's petrified forest: The struggle to study and preserve one of the world's most remarkable fossil sites

Tucked high in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru is a remarkable fossil find: a 39-million-year-old petrified forest preserved in volcanic deposits in nearly pristine condition. Researchers are working to preserve the site.
 

07 Jul 2014

Travels in Geology: Trekking the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular hikes in the world. It’s so popular that in recent years, the Peruvian government has had to limit trail traffic by plastering the trek with a lot of red tape. You have to apply months ahead for a permit, hire a certified guide and show your passport at four different checkpoints along the way. Despite the hassle, each day hundreds of people sign up. And for good reason: The Inca knew how to lay out a scenic route.

30 Mar 2011

Travels in Geology: Patagonia: The ends of the earth

Patagonia, a region encompassing much of the southern halves of Argentina and Chile, may seem more mythical than real. As the author found, the glacial landscape is full of grandiose mountains, crystal blue lakes, wildflowers, fossils and stunning glaciers. The adventure is well worth the trip.
03 May 2010