Photographer's Note

erro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colors) is one of the hills bordering the Quebrada de Purmamarca which is in turn is a western branch of the Quebrada de Humahuaca up to Cuesta del Lipán, in Jujuy Province, Argentina.
Its unique color range is the product of a complex geological history including marine sediments, lake and river movements elevated with the movement of the tectonic plates.
Aside from the commonly known name this colourful hill carries, the locals of the town of Purmamarca also refer to it as the Hill of the Seven Skirts. This is an unofficial name, and not many people other than those who live here refer to it this way. The reasoning behind this second name is because of the resemblance between the colours on the hill and that of the traditional, long skirts worn by Andean women.
This breathtaking sight is composed of 7 different colours, all of which derive from different types of rocks; leading to its diverse range of colours. Each colour/rock is also said to have formed during different time periods. Firstly, pink is believed to be composed of red clay, mudstone (mud) and arilitas (sand). Its estimated age goes back about 3 to 4 million years. The shade of white surrounding the pink is mostly made up of limestone and is aged about 400 million years. Continuing onto the mix of brown and purples, which are composed of lead, and rich in calcium carbonate, and is 80 to 90 million years of age. On top of the purple-brown colour, there is an earthy brown colour that has been detected in the rock. The rocks making up this colour are the most recent colours appearing on the rocks, aging at 1 to 2 million years old, and is described as ‘fanglomerate composed of rock with manganese belonging to Quaternary.’ As for the red, which is composed of claystones (iron) and other clays belonging to the upper Tertiary, its said to also be aged around 3 to 4 millions years. The shades of green, aging at about 600 million years, are made up of phyllites, and slates of copper oxide. Finally, the yellow mustard colour is made of sandstones with sulfur, and is estimated at 80 to 90 million years.


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Additional Photos by Leszek Stefaniuk (jabumbum) Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 0 N: 428] (1310)
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