Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Whale paleo sites versus waste disposal

In the surroundings of Las Ventanas are located the thermoelectric companies that supply with energy to Valpo- Viña and a good portion of the region. The current problem starting to show up is where they could bury their burned waste coal.
Gener, one of the energy companies has bought some areas inland where they pretend to build a landfill for their waste.....
The problem, the area is covered with fossiliferous outcrops around crevasses containing fossil whale remains where they pretend to fill their waste.... so far they cann't do it because the chilean Consejo de monumentos nacionales has given a warning because fossil sites like this are protected by chilean law 17288.
Nevertheless, we don't know what is going to happen..... the legal fight is going to go on....
and these whales still unstudied in situ.... could be buried by coal waste, being lost for ever for our heritage history.Fossil whale sites are rather scarce worldwide.... the oldest are known in the paskistani Kashmir from where the earlier proto-whales are known..... On our side of the Pacific the fossil sites around Nasca are perhaps the better known. Even though chilean whale fossils are known from some sketchy XIX century Philippi's descriptions, just recently Chilean sites are being surveyed with extraordinary findings in massive outcrops around Caldera. In Viña, in the 80s a fossil whale was found in the surroundings of a brick factory in the today poshy Reñaca neighbourhood and it was partially rescued by Museo Fonck. Of course, the site was lost for urban development. This time, these unstudied fossil outcrops are larger, and the menace is industrial and environmental.....what is going to happen?