Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Patagonian Glaciers - What they look like


We have mentioned (Here)the glaciers and the Icefields, but one thing is to write about them, another is to see them.

I have been to the "Los Glaciares National Park" in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, twice. In 2004 and 2007. Both in mid winter. A freezing but delightful experience. The park includes several lakes, the largest of which are Argentino and Viedma - and for both of them there have been reports of "lake creatures" (I will post on them later).

I took hundreds of photographs of several glaciers including the two most famous ones, Perito Moreno and Upsala (below are two of these photos), both on Lake Argentino.

Perito Moreno glacier is 5 km (3 mi.) wide and its ice walls are over 60 m (180 ft.) high above the lake level, and below it, they dig deep into the bedrock of the lake's bottom. Over 400 m (1,300 ft.) below the lake's surface. Actually the base of the glaciers are over 200 m (700 ft.) below sea level because these lakes are at a very low altitude above sea level (184 m - 603 ft.).

The photograph shows the southern face on Brazo Rico which, joins the main body of the lake by passing in front of the glacier through the "canal de los tempanos" (iceberg channel).

Perito Moreno advances slowly blocking the channel until the water pressure builds up and breaks the ice dam. A surge of water then flows into the northern part of the lake to flow into the Atlantic ocean.

Regarding Upsala glacier, the photograph shows one of its two faces (each are about 4 km long - 2.5 mi.). It is also 60 m high. A very large chunk of ice.

Glaciar Perito Moreno Copyright Austin Whittall 2009

Perito Moreno Glacier (south face) - Southern Icefield. Copyright © 2007 by Austin Whittall

Glaciar Upsala Copyright Austin Whittall 2009

Upsala Glacier (western face) - Southern Icefield. Copyright © 2007 by Austin Whittall

map Parque Nacional los Glaciares

Map of Southern Santa Cruz Province showing Parque Nacional los Glaciares (vertical stripes), Lake Argentino and Upsala (in red) and Perito Moreno (in blue) Glaciers. From a map by IGM.

Further reading:

Chinni, Guillermo, (2004). Glaciares del Lago Argentino y el Chalten. Del Perito Moreno al Marconi. B. Aires: Zaguier & Urruty Publications.

Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

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