Chile has some of the world's largest open pit copper mines. This mine, named Chuquicamata, is located near Antofagasta in northern Chile.
Click on image for full size
Image Courtesy of the Wikipedia Commons
Industry in the Southeast Pacific region
Air pollution comes from some industrial activities. Scientists know that aerosols from pollution can change the way that clouds are formed. Learning more about how clouds are formed in the Southeast Pacific region is important to the VOCALS project. So learning more about where the aerosols come from is important too.
Most of the industry in western Chile and Peru is found in the urban areas and port cities. Some of the bigger cities have many different industrial activities that put pollutants into the air, but the biggest source of aerosols comes from the mining industry.
Mining is very important to the people who live in northern Chile and southern Peru. There are lots of minerals to mine! Some of the important minerals are copper, iron, gold, and silver. Of these, copper mining and production is the most important. This region is one of the world's largest copper-mining centers. In fact, the largest open-pit copper mine in the world is located in Chuquicamata in northern Chile, very close to the arid Atacama Desert.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
Have you ever heard of air pollution? Air pollution is not new. 700 years ago, when people started burning large amounts of coal 700 years ago in London, England, they complained about the dust and soot...more
Air pollution comes from many sources. Some natural sources affect air quality. Volcanoes produce sulfur, chlorine, and ash. Wildfires make smoke and carbon monoxide. Cattle and other animals release methane...more
When you look up at the sky, you are looking at more than just air. There are also billions of tiny bits of solid and liquid floating in the air. These tiny particles are called aerosols or particulates....more
A cloud is composed of tiny water droplets or ice crystals. A series of things have to happen in order for these water droplets or ice crystals to form into clouds in the atmosphere, and different types...more
The Southeast Pacific region contains the world's largest set of stratocumulus clouds. These clouds extend for almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) off the west coast of South America from central Chile...more
During the month of October 2008, a team of scientists is going to the Southeastern Pacific Ocean and parts of Chile and Peru. They will make observations and take measurements to learn more about how...more
The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth. The Atacama is in the country of Chile in South America. In an average year, this desert gets less than 1 millimeter (0.04 inch) of rain! It is...more