Photographer's Note

This is the fourth in my series of photos from the Perito Moreno Glacier in southern Argentina.


The following information about the glacier is the same as I have written on my previous posts:

The Perito Moreno Glacier can be found in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia. The nearest town - and best place to organise an excursion to the park - is El Calafate, about 80km away.

The 250km² ice formation, of 30km in length, is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile. This icefield is the world's third largest reserve of fresh water.

The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that are not retreating. Periodically the glacier advances over the L-shaped "Lago Argentino" ("Argentine Lake") forming a natural dam which separates the two halves of the lake when it reaches the opposite shore. With no escape route, the water-level on the Brazo Rico side of the lake can rise by up to 30 metres above the level of the main lake. The enormous pressure produced by this mass of waters finally breaks the ice barrier holding it back, in a spectacular rupture event. This dam/rupture cycle is not regular and it naturally recurs at any frequency between once a year to less than once a decade.

The terminus of the Perito Moreno Glacier is 5 km wide, with an average height of 60 metres above the surface of the water, with a total ice depth of 170 metres. It advances at a speed of up to 2 metres per day (around 700 metres per year), although it loses mass at approximately the same rate, meaning that aside from small variations, its terminus has not advanced or receded in the past 90 years. At its deepest part, the glacier has a depth of approximately 700 metres.

The Perito Moreno glacier was named after the explorer Francisco Moreno, a pioneer who studied the region in the 19th century and played a major role in defending the territory of Argentina in the conflict surrounding the international border dispute with Chile.


Incidentally, for anyone who ever wondered why the ice is so blue - apparently, the heavier and more condensed the ice, the bluer it is. So the ice you put in your whiskey at home has virtually no blueness to it because it isn't put under the same sort of pressures and strains as these glaciers which are crushed and squeezed and tightened over hundreds of years!

This is a full-frame shot, no cropping. Framed in Photoshop and contrast corrected in sky as I didn't use a filter and so had some over-exposure. Otherwise this photo is as taken.



kessi, steveryan2006, drago, asajernigan, jirivrobel, derek3755 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Richard Mayneord (richwm) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 126 W: 33 N: 282] (1215)
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