Thursday, June 6, 2013

Perito Moreno glacier

The centrepiece of Los Glaciares national park in southern Patagonia, near the town of El Calafate, this river of ice is one of the globe's more accessible locations to watch a glacier calving icebergs. It flows off the Patagonian ice cap for 30Km, with a width of 5Km, creating a stupendous wall of ice in front of the multi level walkways. At its deepest point, the ice is 700 metres thick, though the average is only 170M. It is one of only three glaciers in the area that is not retreating. It regularly dams an arm of Lago Argentino, creating a differential in lake level of up to 30 metres from icemelt, until the dam breaches.

It was named after the explorer Francisco Moreno, a 19th century explorer who studied Patagonia. A boat tour under the glacier is highly recommended.

Image credit: Christof Berger

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