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Paul Martini
Assistant Professor
Department of Astronomy
The Ohio State University

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South Pole

Las Campanas

du Pont Telescope



Coppermine Hike

El Indio



El Indio Pictures

The El Indio Goldmine is located at an elevation of about 14000' high in the Andes. The mine is being closed by its current owners (Barrick) and is the site of a massive environmental cleanup. It is about a three hour drive up the Elqui valley from La Serena to the mine.

Click on the thumbnail to get a larger (400x300, ~30kb) version, or [FullRes] to get the original (1600x1200, ~1Mb) files.
[FullRes] Last time I was here (1997) they had just started to build this dam
[FullRes] Dam big
[FullRes] This is the part of the valley flooded by the dam.
[FullRes] Got your goat? If not, this guy might have it
[FullRes] The clean and dirty streams of the Rio Malo converge here. The differences in the water color and vegetation are striking. I recommend looking at the full resolution image.
[FullRes] El Indio himself, lying on his back. See his nose?
[FullRes] One of the dams that reins in the Rio Malo and contains the mine tailings.
[FullRes] Much of the environmental contaminants are being sealed up with clay.
[FullRes] This is an earlier stage of the sealing process
[FullRes] These are very rare ice formations formed by sublimation in this extremely dry climate. They point toward the sun. I recommend viewing the full resolution image.
[FullRes] I think these formations are called 'nieves permanente.'

Last updated: 27 October 2003