GLACIERS - LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK
PERITO MORENO, UPSALA, ONELLI, SPEGAZZINI, MAYO...
IS A GLACIER? THE PERITO MORENO AND LOS GLACIARES NP. It is said that
a glacier us a river of water in a solid state, a mass of ice in constant
movement with a certain speed depending on the slope and volume. The glacial
ice ( a bluish transparent mass) is the product of the accumulation of
snow throughout the centuries. Due to its own weight, the air trapped
between the intergranular spaces is liberated.
The main conditions to enable the formation of a glacier are great snowfalls,
and a mean annual temperature which may preserve the ice's consistency.
OF GLACIERS IN THE AREA INDLANSIS: Enormous
horizontal ice sheets, such as the Continental Icefield, which has a total
surface of 17,000 km2.
CIRQUE GLACIERS: Located on the top of the mountain ranges.
VALLEY GLACIERS: They run along well defined valleys.
PIEDMONT GLACIERS: They are valley glaciers that broaden their front on
reaching the lowlands, taking the shape of a fan.
COMPOUND: Glaciers nourished by minor lateral glaciers, forming an increased
CALVING: When the front of the glacier is in contact with the water it
loses a significant part of its mass due to the large pieces that fall
off. Such is the case of the Upsala, Moreno, and Spegazzini Glaciers on
Argentino Lake and Viedma Glacier on Viedma Lake.
MORAINES: An accumulation of rocks, sand and clay carried by a glacier.
They revel the former positions of the glacier. According to their location,
moraines can be classified into lateral, central, bottom and terminus.
ERRATIC BOULDERS: Rocks of different
sizes conveyed by glaciers and spread along the valleys when they receded.
ICEBERGS: Blocks of ice of different
sizes and spectacular shapes that break-off a Calving glacier and drift
along, pushed by the wind, only revealing the eighth part of their real
size above water surface.
PHENOMENON OF THE RUPTURE OF THE PERITO MORENO GLACIER The Perito Moreno Glacier
flows down from the Cordillera like a large river of ice. On some occasions,
it has crossed Canal de los Tempanos (Iceberg Channel) reaching the shore
opposite the valley of the glacier.
Thus, the Glacier forms an ice dike that blocks the flow of the water
from Brazo Rico (Rico Arm Channel) toward Argentino Lake, damming up this
section of the lake.
When the level of the Rico Arm rises, the pressure it exerts on the Glacier
wall gradually increases undermining the ice until a tunnel is opened
and the water begins to flow into Argentino Lake. Then once again the
two lake basins become communicated.
This natural cataclysm last a day or two, with spectacular ice detachments
and is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and marvelous phenomenon in
When the two basins are leveled, the glacier comes forth once again obstructing
the channel and the whole process recommences.
These cycles are not regular and since the last breaking, recorded on
February 17, 1988, this phenomenon has not happened again.
DAY 1 - Arrival to El Calafate Airport and
transfer to hotel. 03 nts of accommodation with breakfast
- Excursion to the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier
- Boat Excursion to Los Glaciares National Park to enjoy three amazing
glaciers: Upsala, Onelli and Spegazzini
- Transfer to airport
This is a basic program to visit El Calafate Area. Please visit our tour
list to see more tours combining this area and others place in Argentina