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Salar de Uyuni and Salar de Coipasa, Bolivia and Chile

20.1S 67.5W

January 30th, 2010 Category: Mountains

Bolivia - January 5th, 2010

Bolivia - January 5th, 2010

While clouds dot the skies over and around the Andes Mountains and above the Pacific Ocean, the white areas in the center of this image focusing on Bolivia and Chile are two large salt flats: the Salar de Uyuni and the Salar de Coipasa.

The former, also known as the Salar de Tunupa, is the largest salt flat in the world, with a surface area of 10,582 km2 (4,085 square miles). Located near the crest of the Andes, it has an elevation of 3,656 meters above the mean sea level. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar.

Just northwest of the Salar de Uyuni is the smaller Salar de Coipasa, at an elevation of 3657 m. It is about 70 km long by 50 km wide and has a surface area of 2.218 kmĀ², of which 2.193 are located in Bolivia, making it the second largest salar in the country. The rocks surrounding the salar are mainly of volcanic origin.

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