Reference work entry
The coastline of Peru ( Fig. 4.2.1), just over 2,300 km long, is notably arid (Dresch 1961). Mean annual rainfall at coastal centres is low (Chiclayo 15 mm, Trujillo 28 mm, Lima 31 mm and Mollendo 22 mm) and variable; desiccation is intense between the occasional rains. This is because coastal waters are abnormally cool for the latitude (4°–18° S), due to the upwelling of cold water from oceanic depths as a result of trade winds blowing offshore. Sea breezes keep the coastal fringe cool, with frequent fogs but very little precipitation. Vegetation is consequently very sparse, and desert landscapes predominate.
KeywordsSandy Beach Tectonic Uplift Beach Ridge Mesozoic Rock Shore Platform
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