The Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier is a thick mass of ice located in the Argentino Lake department in the province of Santa Cruz, southwest in the Patagonia region in Argentina.
This glacier is originated in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. It slopes downward reaching the southern arm of the Argentino Lake, with a 5-km terminus and a height of 60 meters above the water.
Due to its continuous forward movement, it dams the water of the Rico arm of the Lake causing a level difference with the rest of the lake, sometimes of as much as 30 meters. The pressure produced by this mass of water breaks through the ice creating a tunnel with a vault of more than 50 meters, which eventually collapses in a rare natural show which can be easily observed by tourists, making it the major attraction of the Los Glaciares National Park.
It was named after Francisco Moreno, director of the museum of the Argentine Scientific Society and avid explorer of Argentina's southern region.
The glacier is located in front of the Magallanes Peninsula, in the southern area of the National Park, 80 km away from El Calafate, which can be reached by plane from the Comandante Armando Tola International Airport or by land along the Provincial Route 11. El Calafate is about 320 km northwest of the province capital, Rio Gallegos. Located in an area surrounded by forest and mountains, it is inside the Los Glaciares National Park, which was established as such in 1937, in the province of Santa Cruz, in the southern region of the Argentine Republic. This 724,000-ha park has 356 glaciers
This glacier is one of the several Patagonian glaciers that are growing. All of the three formation theories: growing, retreat and balance is still under debate by glaciologists.
The terminus is 5 kilometers (3 miles) wide, with an average height of 74 meters (240 feet) above the surface of the water of the Argentino Lake. Total ice depth is 170 meters (558 feet).