The Ica-Lima Coastal Plain
Andean pencil catfish (Trichomycterus sp.)
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Foto: PERU LNG
The Ica-Lima Coastal Plain is located on the Pacific coast of Peru, in the departments of Ica and Lima, where the Pampa Melchorita LNG Plant is located. The last section of the PERU LNG gas pipeline crosses the arid coastal plain at elevations between 125 and 368 masl (meters above sea level). The crossing with the Topará stream is the lowest point of the entire pipeline route.
The precipitations are essentially nonexistent; all precipitation is the result of fog condensation except during El Niño events that occur with an approximate frequency of seven years. The Ica-Lima Coastal Plain is dissected by a number of highly seasonal and broken rivers that drain the Pacific slope of the Andes. The longest of these rivers is the Pisco River. These rivers allow the development of extensive cultivation areas in their alluvial valleys, which occupy 26% of the area of the Right of Way (RoW). The dominant natural cover is the arid desert (67%). Scattered patches of bromeliads of the genus Tillandsia are locally important (6%).
Narrow strips of riparian vegetation line along the watercourses but are insignificant in the RoW. Like the vegetation, the fauna is little abundant in this ELU. Ctenoblepharys adspersa and Dicrodon heterolepis are species of lizards listed by Peruvian legislation as "vulnerable" that have been found throughout the RoW. The rivers of the Coastal Plain of Ica-Lima contain populations of the Calamaro de Río Changallo (Cryphiops caementarius), a migratory species of great economic importance for some local communities.