Earthquake images from the Bolivian Altiplano: Legend of Atlantis

Some views from Google Earth

Earthquakes and floods were the principal activities which led to the destruction of Atlantis according to Plato. Here, thanks to Google Earth, we can see some images of destruction by earthquakes on the Bolivian Altiplano extending all the way from areas around Tiwanaku, south to Oruro and as far as Pampa Aullagas at the south of Lake Poopo. The concentration of sites hit by earthquakes in the Tiwanaku zone suggests that earthquakes may have brought to an end the Tiwanku civilisation, or an earlier civilisation. Many of the sites consist of giant earthworks which have been wrongly identified as "geoglyphs" and are in fact long columns of stones cleared from the original landscape (see geoglyph fossilised agriculture). These seem to have been supplied with water by a system of concentric ringed irrigation canals on many hilltops although site visits show the majority of concentric canals as concentric walled terraces/pathways - and many of these hilltops seem to have been hit by earthquakes on their north-eastern sides obliterating all traces of the circular terraces on that side.
Since relatively little archaeology has been done in Bolivia and probably mostly at known and accessible sites, it might be worthwhile in future for archaeologists/geologists to visit some of these earthquake-destroyed sites to try and determine the dates of their destruction, including the ringed hilltops (link at bottom of page).
Locations are plotted on map at foot of page.

hilltop with concentric irrigation channels Peru
Above, This ringed hill on the Peruvian side of the Altiplano appears to show the remains of concentric irrigation channels but similar sites usually have walled terraces/pathways.

earthquake zone south of Turco
Above, No. 130 This ringed hill shows total destruction on the eastern side where earthquakes have turned the terrain onto its side..

earthquake zone south of Turco
Above, 102 This ringed hill shows considerable destruction by earthquakes.

earthquake zone la Paz area
138 Above, earthquake activity often appears to show as "smoothed" grey areas such as in this zone south of La Paz with "geoglyph" agriculture.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture fed by horizontal channels west of la Paz area
Above, in this close-up view the "geoglyph" agriculture system is supplied with water by horizontal irrigation channels intersected by natural streams.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture fed by streams west of la Paz area
Above, in this close-up view the "geoglyph" agriculture system is supplied with water by horizontal irrigation channels intersected by natural streams.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture west of la Paz area
101 d, Above, This hilltop, as a general example, is surrounded by the remains of concentric teraces and remains of the "geoglyph" agriculture system.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture concentric channels
101 d, Above, this close-up appears to show remains of the concentric channels which supplied the agriculture with water, but only terraces were found on site.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture west of la Paz area
101 d (north side), Above, in this oblique view the "geoglyph" agriculture system can be seen extending over the sides of the valleys with parallel embankments and small rounded mounds.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture west of la Paz area
101 d (north side), Above, in this close-up view the "geoglyph" agriculture system appears as parallel embankments.

earthquake geoglyph agriculture west of la Paz area
101 d (north side), Above, close-up of "geoglyph" agriculture system struck by earthquakes with fissures opening in the land afterwards.

earthquake zone west of la Paz area
Above, 132 Close-up of fissure amongst the original "geoglyph" agriculture system.

earthquake zone west of la Paz area
Above, 132 Close-up of fissures amongst the original "geoglyph" agriculture system.

earthquake zone west of la Paz area
Above, 132 close-up of fissures amongst the original "geoglyph" agriculture system.

earthquake zone west of la Paz area earthquake zone west of la Paz area
Above, 132 ground view of the colummns and mounds of stones cleared from the original sites.

earthquake zone west of la Paz area
Above, 132 Close-up of fissures amongst the original "geoglyph" agriculture system.

earthquake zone west of la Paz area
Above, 132 Fissures as a result of earthquakes amongst the original "geoglyph" agriculture system in ridge of mountains near Tiwanaku.

earthquake zone near Tiwanaku
138 Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone of terraces in the Tiwanaku region.

earthquake zone near Tiwanaku
140 Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone of "geoglyph" agriculture Tiwanaku area. The remains are so old that they appear "fossilised".

earthquake zone near Tiwanaku
140 Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone of "geoglyph" agriculture, now apparantly hanging down a cliff face, Tiwanaku area.

earthquake zone la Paz area
134 Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone south of La Paz with "geoglyph" agriculture. Small pockets of the original agricultural system remain in this area which has been largely obliterated and overturned by earthquakes.

earthquake zone Laja area earthquake zone Laja area
134 Above, ground view of remains of "geoglyph" vertical teracing system and (right) nearby zones destroyed by earthquakes.

earthquake zone la Paz area
134 Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone south of La Paz with "geoglyph" agriculture.

earthquake built over zone la Paz area
104 c, Above, this photo clearly shows how the ancient, disused system of agriculture has been abandoned and built over by later peoples who constructed walled enclosures (the thin, sharp lines).

earthquake built over zone la Paz area
104 b, Above, another example of how the ancient, disused system of agriculture has been abandoned and built over by later peoples who constructed walled enclosures (the thin, sharp lines).

earthquake zone south of Turco
No. 17 Above, fields now on mountain sides suggest earthquake uplifiting in this area south of Turco, in the Oruro region.

earthquake zone south of Turco
No. 17. Above, earthquake activity appears along this ridge with circular feature in this zone south of Turco.

earthquake zone south of Turco
No. 17. Above, close-up view shows these circles to be the remains of concentric ancient irrigation channels but ground visit showed only walled pathways on this ridge south of Turco

earthquake zone south of Turco
No. 17 area, Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone south of Turco.

earthquake zone south of Turco
No. 17 area, Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone south of Turco. The squarish plots are probably from a later date.

earthquake zone south of Turco
No. 17 area, Above, earthquake activity appears in this zone south of Turco. The squarish plots are probably from a later date.

earthquake zone south west of La Joya
Above, No. 46a This ringed hilltop south west of Oruro has been devastated by earthquakes.

earthquake hill with concentric irrigation channels south west of Oruro
Above, No. 46a Close-up view shows the rings to have originally been concentric irrigation channels although walled pathways/terraces are more usual. The site has been destroyed by earthquakes then at a later period people have returned and built walls (shown as very thin black lines) as animal enclosures (corrales) alongside the original features.

earthquake zone south west of La Joya
Above, No. 46b This ringed hilltop south west of Oruro has been devastated by earthquakes.

earthquake zone south west of La Joya
Above, No. 46c This ringed hilltop south west of Oruro has been devastated by earthquakes.

Bombo earthquake canal or railway route
Above, region near Bombo, east of Lake Poopo. The diagonal line is the remains of either railway or possible irrigation canal running for a distance of about 8 miles and whose route has been completely destroyed by earthquakes.
See also for additional views of this area click here

pampa Aullagas earthquake
Above, the site at Pampa aullagas has been considerably altered due to earthquake activity. In this photo you can see how the western embankment has been detached and pushed outwards from the original volcano.

Altiplano earthquake map
Above, map showing earthquaked sites seen on Google Earth (marked with red circles) which seem to follow a fault line extending from the north of Tiwanaku right down to Pampa Aullagas. Could this have been the "cataclysm" Plato described?

   See also additional studies,
   agricultural variations on the Altiplano    ringed hilltops    geoforms - geoglyphs and other agricultural landforms
   contour forms/irrigation Peru   contourforms/irigation Bolivia    Bombo earthquake route    Bombo route oblique views

   atlantis canals on the Altiplano    canals gallery   Chipaya canals gallery   canals in Peru   Caral, Peru containment canal
   Paria, Oruro containment canals   canal to sea (lago UruUru)    Tabasco, Mexico canals gallery   Pantanal
   Beni, Moxos gallery    rio Paraguay levees canals    rio Parana canals, ponds and islands    rio Parana delta canals   Corrientes
   rio Amazon to Manaus   rio Amazon west from Manaus   rio Orinocco to Amazon canal
   flooding dates on the Altiplano   Atlantis stones gallery

   Atlantis stade - Egyptian and Sumerian cubits   Tiwanaku cubits    Peru cubits and calendar    cubits between altiplano canals
   Teotihuacan measuring unit    Teotihuacan citadel measuring units
   Chichen Itza and El Castillo measuring units    Monte Alban, measuring units
   the Tiwanaku soli-lunar calendar    the Muisca calendar     Lost Calendar of the Andes     Decoding the quipu mathematics


   J.M.Allen 15th Nov 2009, updated Apr 2011
   webatlantis@hotmail.com

sailing to the lost city of atlantis
atlantisbolivia.org