Return to Earth From Space Home
Earth from Space logo Image Information Earth from Space logo

Display a Screen Layout for Printing

IMAGE: gray corner       IMAGE: gray corner
  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS030-E-91253 Date: Feb. 2012
Geographic Region: ARGENTINA

Ordering information for space photography
IMAGE: gray corner     IMAGE: gray corner

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner
  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Perito Moreno Glacier, Lake Argentino, Argentina

The largest glacier tongue in this image is known as the Perito Moreno Glacier (image center). It descends from the Southern Patagonian Icefield (image top) at great altitudes (>2100 m, 6825 feet) in the southern Andes Mts., down into the water and warmer altitudes of Lake Argentino at ~180 m above sea level. The glacier is 30 km long (image width represents ~60 km on the ground).

Perito Moreno is one of the largest glaciers in Patagonia, and is perhaps the most famous for the fact that it periodically cuts off the major southern arm (known as Brazo Rico) of Lake Argentino completely from the rest of the lake. This is because the glacier advances right across the lake until it meets the opposite shoreline. The ice tongue is "grounded" (meaning that it is not floating, as occurs at the termini of glaciers and ice shelves where they enter the sea), thus forming a natural dam which prevents the lake water on either side from circulating, which in turn causes muddier, "milkier" water to concentrate in Brazo Rico. Sub-ice water, now expected to be more active with global warming, flows under the ice, not only carrying the mud into the lake but also helping lubricate the glacier's downhill movement.

Because of its effect as a dam, meltwater from the south raises water levels in Brazo Rico by as much as 30 m above the level of the water in L. Argentino. The great pressure of this higher water ultimately causes the ice tongue to rupture catastrophically, in a great natural spectacle. The last rupture took place in March 2012. The process then repeats, on average every 4-5 years, as the glacier starts to grow back towards the opposite shoreline. The repeatability of the rupture has contributed to the event becoming a major tourist attraction in the region.
Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 99k
Mission: ISS030  
Roll - Frame: E - 91253
Geographical Name: ARGENTINA  
Center Lat x Lon: 50.4S x 73W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N2
Camera Tilt: 40   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 180  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: W   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
Date: 20120221   YYYYMMDD
Time: 131257   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 49.7S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 70W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 69   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 219   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 30   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: GLACIER  
Water Views: ICE, LAKE, SEA  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views: DAM  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

NASA Human
Space Flight
Home Page
Home Page
Image eXchange
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
NASA meatball logo
ESRS logo