Groundwater age dating
Isotopic studies of rainfall in the central-northern Chile indicate that this type of precipitation does not produce significant recharge increase to aquifers (Aravena et al, 1989; Squeo et al., 2006), but it favors the existence of vegetation.Similar situations are found in Perú (Jiménez et al., 2012) and in the Canary Islands, especially in Tenerife (Braojos, 2011; Santana, 1987).Radiocarbon dating and preliminary groundwater hydraulic calculations indicate that these spring waters could be remnants of a more significant recharge in the Cordillera de la Costa than that produced today during the less arid period about 5,000 to 3,000 years ago.The exception is Las Vertientes spring which is the only one that receives water transferred from the Central Depression.It is one of the driest regions of the world, containing areas whose average annual precipitation in many cases is less than 1 mm, which means long periods of extreme aridity and occasional rainfall events widely separated in time.
The greater penetration of the Camanchaca occurs in the breached coastal areas of the Loa River mouth and Quebrada La Negra (Ramírez, 1982).Los manantiales son la descarga visible de un cuerpo general de agua subterránea en los materiales muy poco permeables de la Cordillera de la Costa, cuya conductividad hidráulica decrece en profundidad y donde el flujo se produce dominantemente por fisuras y el almacenamiento, en una matriz de baja porosidad.Along the coastline of northern Chile, in the Atacama Desert, an extensive mountain range called Cordillera de la Costa (coastal range) exists.Water composition has some similarity to seawater, which is due to atmospheric deposition being dominated by marine aerosol and the high salinity to intense concentration by evapotranspiration (evapoconcentration) of precipitation.Soluble salts deposited in the soil are dissolved and transferred to aquifer recharge when some of rare significant precipitations occur.
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On the other hand, the Andes range is an impressive mountain barrier preventing the arrival of moisture coming from the Atlantic Ocean through the Amazon Basin.