List Largest Glacier in South America


List Largest Glacier in South America

Glacier in South America

Glaciers are huge rivers or sheets of ice, which have sculpted mountain ranges and carved iconic peaks like the pyramid-shaped Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.

The secret of this awesome landscape-shaping power is erosion, the process of wearing away and transporting solid rock. Glacier erosion involves two main mechanisms: abrasion and plucking. As glaciers flow downhill, they use debris that’s frozen into the ice to ‘sandpaper’ exposed rock, leaving grooves called ‘striations’.

You can spot landforms created by ancient ice. Cirques are armchair-shaped hollows on mountainsides, which often contain lakes called ‘tarns’. They’re also the birthplaces of ancient glaciers.

Today glaciers are confined to high altitudes and latitudes, but during the ice ages glaciers advanced into valleys that are now free of ice. Britain, for example, was covered by ice as far south as the Bristol Channel.

This is the process of abrasion. Plucking, however, is where glaciers freeze onto rock and tear away loose fragments as they pull away.

Pyramidal peaks were created when three or more cirques formed. Eventually the cirque glacier spilled from the hollow and flowed downhill as a valley glacier. During cold periods, ice accumulated in shady rock hollows, deepening them to form cirques. When two cirques formed back-to-back, they left a knife-edge ridge called an ‘arête’.

This glacier eroded the valley into a U-shape, with steep cliffs called ‘truncated spurs’. When the glacier Discover the awesome Earth-shaping power of gigantic rivers of ice Glaciers in Wrangell St Elias National Park, Alaska Glacier power

Medial moraine

Hard rock outcrops in the valley were smoothed into mounds orientated in the direction of ice movement. Rock drumlins are shaped like whalebacks, adopting a smooth, convex shape. Roche moutonnée have a smooth upstream side, and a jagged downstream side formed by plucking. Where valley rocks varied in strength, the ice cut hollows into the softer rock, which filled with glacial lakes known as paternoster lakes.A medial moraine is a debris ridge or mound found in the centre of a valley, formed when two tributary glaciers join and their lateral moraines merge. melted, tributary valleys were left hanging high above the main valley floor.

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Upsala Glacier

Location: Argentina

Upsala is a large valley glacier found in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park (“The Glaciers” National Park)It spans over 37 miles long and 230 feet high.

The other impressive glacier to visit at Los Glaciares National Park is Upsala Glacier, which is the largest glacier in South America.

The Pastoruri Glacier

Location: Peru

  • The glacier has lost over 15 percent of its ice over the past 35 years, and it is expected to continue to shrink.

The Pastoruri Glacier lies in the southern part of the Cordillera Blanca in the Andes of north central Peru, occupying one flank of a 17,200-ft- (5,240-m-) high Andean peak called Nevado Pastoruri.

Although parts of its surface are heavily crevassed, others are often covered in deep, soft snow, which attracts skiers and snowboarders.

It is a cirque glacier a type of glacier that occupies a bowl-shaped depression high up on a mountain. Steep sides The Pastoruri Glacier has steep, clifflike edges, making it a popular destination for ice climbers.

The Quelccaya Ice Cap

Location: Peru

  • However, due to global warming, the ice cap has lost about one-fifth of its area over the past 30 years, and the rate at which it is shrinking is accelerating.

The ice cap is of great importance to the surrounding region because its meltwater irrigates fields in the valleys below and provides drinking water for some large Peruvian cities, like Cusco.

The Quelccaya Ice Cap covers an area of 17 square miles (44 square km) of the High Andes and—reflecting how high the freezing zone is in the tropics—all of it lies above an altitude of 16,000ft (5,000m).

The recent appearance of 5,700-year-old plant remains from under the ice cap indicate that more than 50 centuries have passed since it was smaller than it is today.

The Southern Patagonian Icefield


  • Mount Fitz Roy at 11,020 ft (3,359m) and the volcano Lautaro at 11,886 ft (3,623m) are two of the main peaks surrounded by the icefield.

The Southern Patagonian Icefield is a remnant of the last glacial period, around 18,000 years ago, when all of southern Chile and Argentina was covered in a thick sheet of ice, over an area estimated to be about 185,000 square miles (480,000 square km).

An icefield is a single, extensive mass of ice at high altitude that is partly hemmed in by mountains (in contrast, ice caps and ice sheets almost completely submerge a region).

Today, it occupies an area less than 3 percent of that size.

The Perito Moreno

location:Los Glaciares

  • The best time to view this is in the afternoon when, due to the Sun’s warmth, disintegration events occur about every half an hour.

The glacier is about 15 miles (24 km) long, has an area of about 80 square miles (200 square km), and terminates in a vast wall of ice that is some 3 miles (5 km) wide.

The Perito Moreno is an outlet glacier from the Southern Patagonian Icefield, descending to the east of the icefield, where it discharges icebergs into Argentina’s largest lake, Lago Argentino.

Unlike most of the world’s glaciers, the Perito Moreno is not retreating, although glaciologists are uncertain why that is.

Calving face Situated in Los Glaciares National Park, the glacier is one of Patagonia’s most visited sites. It is possible to go on a guided trek over the glacier’s surface.

Many sightseers enjoy witnessing huge shards of ice falling off the glacier’s calving face.

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