Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


  • José Araya-Vergara
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_33


The coast of Chile is about 6,435 km long. Tide ranges are small in the north, Arica having a mean spring tide range of 1.4 m and Iquique 1.5 m. They increase southward to Valparaiso (1.66 m) and Caleto Mansa (1.62 m), and are much larger in the Gulf of Corcovado (Puerto Montt 5.8 m). Further south they are generally between 1.2 and 1.4 m, rising to 2.06 m in Orange Bay, near Cape Horn. Wave action is dominated by the Pacific ocean swell from the southwest and storms in coastal waters that produce waves mainly from the west. The climate is hot and dry in the northern desert, mild and Mediterranean in the centre (winter rainfall and dry summers: Antofagasta has mean monthly temperatures of 20.6°C in January and 14°C in July, with an average annual rainfall of 12 mm) and cold, wet and stormy in the Patagonia to the south.

The Chilean Coastline

South from the Peruvian border at Arica the coast of the Atacama desert is mainly cliffed ( Fig. 4.3.1). Near Iquique, massive...


Tide Range River Outlet Shore Platform Longshore Drift Turbidity Plume 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Araya-Vergara
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Chile Santiago