It is less arid than the province of Atacama, the surface near the coast being broken by well-watered river valleys, which produce alfalfa, and pasture cattle for export.
When the attempt was made to mark this boundary the commissioners were unable to agree on a line across the Puna de Atacama in the north, where parallel ranges enclosing a high arid plateau without any clearly defined drainage to the Atlantic or Pacific, gave an opportunity for conflicting claims. In the south the broken character of the Cordillera, pierced in places by large rivers flowing into the Pacific and having their upper drainage basins on the eastern side of the line of highest crests, gave rise to unforeseen and very difficult questions.
Buchanan, United States minister at Buenos Aires, serving as arbitrator, reached a decision on the Atacama line north of 26° 52' 45" S.
These minor ranges, excepting the Zenta, are separated from the Andean masses by comparatively low depressions and are usually described as distinct ranges; topographically, however, they seem to form a continuation of the ranges running southward from the Santa Victoria and forming the eastern rampart of the great central plateau of which the Puna de Atacama covers a large part.
The question of the Puna de Atacama was referred to a tribunal composed of the United States minister to Argentina and of one Argentine and one Chilean delegate; that of the southern frontier in Patagonia to the British crown.
C.) Copiapo, a city of northern Chile, capital of the province of Atacama, about 35 m.
The Maritime Cordillera of Peru has no connexion with the coast ranges of Chile, but is a continuation of the Cordillera Occidental of Chile, which under various local names forms the eastern margin of the coastal desert belt from Atacama northward into Peru.
Before 1842, when guano began to attract notice as an exportable product, Atacama was considered as Bolivian territory, and Coquimbo the extreme northern province of Chile.
Strong evidence of this is afforded by the association of some of the depressions, notably the Japan Trench and the Atacama Trench, with the origin of frequent submarine earthquakes.
The south-eastern part of the Pacific is mainly occupied by the Easter Island Rise with depths rarely so great as 2000 fathoms; but close to the continent of South America the Atacama Trench is a typical example of the deepest form of depression culminating with 4175 fathoms in 25° 42' S., 71° 31.5' W.
Hydrated sulphates occur at several localities in the province of Madrid and in other provinces of Spain, and at Miihlingen in Aargau, and copious deposits of glauberite, the double sulphate of sodium and calcium, are met with in the salt-mines of Villarrubia in Spain, at Stassfurt, and in the province of Tarapaca, Chile, &c. A native nitrate of soda is obtained in great abundance in the district of Atacama and the province of Tarapaca, and is imported into Europe in enormous quantities as cubic nitre for the preparation of saltpetre.
It was formerly capital of the Bolivian department of Atacama and the only port possessed by Bolivia, but the seizure of that department in 1879 by Chile and the construction of the Antofagasta and Oruro railway deprived it of all importance, and its population, estimated at 6000 in 1858, has fallen to less than 500.
Lying within the desert of Atacama and between the provinces of Tarapaca and Atacama.
Up to 1879 the province belonged to Bolivia, and was known as the department of Atacama, or the Litoral.
Thus we have in the northern hemisphere the Sahara desert, the deserts of Arabia, Iran, Turan, Takla Makan and Gobi, and the desert regions of the Great Basin in North America; and in the southern hemisphere the Kalahari desert in Africa, the desert of Australia, and the desert of Atacama in South America.
Ignipalliatus, from Peru to Patagonia, more resembles the classical species; while P. andinus, the tallest of all, which lacks the hallux, inhabits the salt lakes of the elevated desert of Atacama, whence it extends into Chile and Argentina.
By subsequent agreements the Bolivian department of the Litoral, or Atacama, and the Peruvian department of Tarapaca, were formally ceded to Chile, and the northern frontier was removed to the river Camarones, which enters the Pacific at 19° 12' S.
The province of Atacama has, in addition to its mining population, a considerable number of agriculturists located in a few irrigated river valleys, which class is largely increased in the adjoining province of Coquimbo.
Communications.-Railway construction in Chile dates from 1850, when work was begun on a short line between Copiapo and the port of Caldera, in the Atacama desert region.
The vine is cultivated all the way from Atacama and Coquimbo, where excellent raisins are produced, south to Concepcion, where some of the best wines of Chile are manufactured.
The second most important mining industry in Chile, however, is that of copper, which is found in the provinces of Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Aconcagua, Valparaiso, Santiago, O'Higgins, Colchagua, Curico and Talca, but the richest deposits are in the three desert provinces.
Manganese ores are mined in Atacama and Coquimbo, and their export is large.
Extensive deposits of the salt (called caliche in its crude, impure state) in the provinces of Tacna, Tarapaca, Antofagasta and Atacama owe their existence to the rainless character of the climate.
For a long time Chile was considered one of the poorest states of Spanish America, but the acquisition of the rich mineralproducing provinces of the north, together with the development of new silver and copper mines in Atacama and Coquimbo, largely increased her revenues and enabled her to develop other important resources.
Both Chile and Argentina put forward certain pretensions to territory in the Atacama district to the north, and also to a section of Patagonia in the south.
The dispute concerning the Atacama district was submitted to an arbitration tribunal, consisting of the representative of the United States in Argentina, assisted by one Argentine and one Chilean commissioner.
More recently, the extensive deposits of borates (chiefly, however, of calcium; see Colemanite) in the Mohave desert on the borders of California and Nevada, and in the Atacama desert in South America, have been the chief commercial sources of boron compounds.
In 1862 a treaty of peace and commerce with the United States was ratified, and in the following year a similar treaty was concluded with Belgium; but new causes of disagreement with Chile had arisen in the discovery of rich beds of guano on the eastern coast-land of the desert of Atacama, which threatened warfare, and were only set at rest by the treaty of August 1866, in which the 24th parallel of latitude was adopted as the boundary between the two republics.
Antofagasta Atacama 5.
ATACAMA, a province of northern Chile, bounded N.