Chile Altiplano Unconformity
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This 10.5 by 11 km area in northern Chile was acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on April 7, 2000. Dramatically displayed is a geological angular unconformity: a contact between layers of rock at different angles. On the right side of the image, Cretaceous sediments (146 to 65 million years old) were tilted upward to an angle of about 50 degrees, then eroded. On this surface volcanic pyroclastic deposits (rock composed of loose or fragmental material ejected from a volcano) were laid down as a flat sheet. The section of rocks has been eroding from the east, exposing the tilted and flat rock layers.

Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Chile Altiplano Unconformity

April 7, 2001
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