Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Glaciers are found in Patagonia near the Andes Mountains.   

Along with bringing in tourism to Argentina, the glaciers provide water
for drinking and irrigation for the communities that live nearby. 

Despite global warming, Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier is
one of the few icefields that has withstood rising global temperatures. 


Glaciers form in the accumulation zone and begin to move across the surface by 
internal deformation and basal slip. In the ablation zone, glacial ice is 
lost due to calving, melting, and sublimation. 

Figure 1. The video below shows glacial ice calving from the "Perito Moreno Glacier."

U-shaped valleys are formed from erosion as the glacier ice moves through the floor of the valley, smoothing and plucking rocks. Aretes are knife-like ridges that can usually be seen on the sides of a glacial trough.

Figure 2. This picture shows a U-shaped valley in Argentina formed by a glacier. 

 Figure 3.  Drumlins are seen running parallel to each other in Patagonia
after being formed by bed deformation beneath the ice sheet.

Figure 4.  Many kettle lakes can be found in the outwash plains of Patagonia.

Figure 5.  Kettle lakes are formed when a block 
of buried glacial ice in the outwash plains melts


When till (mixture of boulders, gravel, sand and clay) is left behind in the ablation zone by the glacier, moraines are built on the sides and middle of the glacier. 

Figure 6. Several people hike the lateral moraine of Perito Moreno Glacier.  

When accumulation of ice is equal to ablation, 
the front is stable and a terminal moraine is built.  

Figure 7. This picture shows a terminal moraine of "Perito Moreno" 
along with many glacial crevasses.


 As a glacier melts, streams form in front and deposit outwash.

Figure 8.  This alluvium is carried by meltwater streams far into the outwash plains.  

As a result of glaciers, fluvial landscapes surround the Andes Mountains. 
As a meandering river's amplitude increases, deposition occurs on 
the inside of the river bend while the outside cut banks are eroded. Overtime 
as the erosion continues on the outside of the river bend, the river shifts course. 

Figure 9.  Taken from space with remote sensing, the Rio Negro in Argentina 
demonstrates alterations of the meandering channel within its floodplain. 


Works Cited

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Iguazu Falls

Thundering down between the Argentina and Brazil border, 
the roaring Iguazu Falls can be heard from kilometers away!

Figure 1.  Water from the Iguazu River, an important tributary off
of the Parana River, rushes off a plateau creating the falls. (Video taken by me)

Figure 2.  Iguazu Falls is located in the North-East part of Argentina.


Condensation occurs often in this subtropical climate because of it's 75%-90% relative humidity. As water evaporates from the rivers nearby, clouds are formed due to adiabatic cooling. Once the air temperature falls below the dew point, the relative humidity rises to 100%, and the air cools, precipitation is produced near Iguazu Falls. 

Figure 3.  With this location being in a subtropical high region, 
subsiding air is warm and provides stable weather.


Iguazu Falls does receives many thunderstorms as a result of moisture and unstable air. As warm moist air lifts adiabatically and condenses, cumulus-type clouds are formed.

 Figure 4. This picture that I took shows a great example of 
Cumulonimbus thunderclouds developing behind Iguazu Falls.

As a result of these thunderstorms, lightning brings hazzard to the community living nearby.  When opposite charges attract each other, a visible stroke can be seen as a stepped leader and a traveling spark meet. 

Figure 5.  This picture shows a great example of a 
"Bolt from the Blue" lightning strike at Iguazu Falls.


Tornadoes also post a threat in a nearby region of Iguazu Falls.  These tornadoes are created after a strong cold front separates really hot air from really cold air, a big humidity difference, and a jet stream pulls up air from the surface.  

Figure 6. As a result of this tornado in Argentina, 6 locals 
were killed and more than 100 people were injured.


Works Cited

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mendoza (Wine Country)

Famous for it's Malbec wine and olive oil production, the beautiful 
city of Mendoza sits on the eastern side of Andes Mountains. 


Since the continental climate of Mendoza receives low, annual rainfall, the locals of Mendoza built a large irrigation system in order to sustain their living (Figure 1). The water from the melting glaciers near Patagonia provides an opportunity for agriculture as it rushes down the trenches into the city.

Figure 1. Small irrigation channel found in a street of Mendoza.


Figure 2. Man-made lakes in the Mendoza countryside also serve as reservoirs for the overland flow, after a rainfall.  

Surrounding Mendoza today, the wineries (bodegas) continue to be the leaders of agriculture. The grapes in Mendoza are grown out of Mollisols and Aridisols soil (Figure 3).

    Figure 3. My brother Scott standing on top of the Aridisols soil of Mendoza.

              These two rocky soils are formed through the process of Calcification (Figure 4).

                                 Figure 4. Demonstrates the stages of Calcification.

                                            "Quaffable, but uh...far from transcendent."  -Sideways
                                 Figure 5. Myself tasting wine in Mendoza.

Desertification and salinization are becoming concerns in Mendoza (Figure 6.) Petroleum refining poses another existing threat to the drainage basin near Mendoza. As a result of these problems, along with Mendoza's increasing population, the community has started recharging their aquifers by constructing infiltration basins.

Figure 6. Salinization is occuring in Mendoza as a result of capillary water rising in the soil.


Even though the city of Mendoza breathes tranquility, mass wasting landslides and earthquakes pose a threat. These landslides and debris flows near the Mendoza valley are caused by a combination of earthquakes, rainfall, and steep slopes.


Figure 7. As a result of the severe earthquake that killed a third of Mendoza's population in 1861, builders have constructed wider roads. 


Works Cited


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Andes Mountains

Patagonia is a main attraction for the tourists, and a home for the locals in Argentina.  Surrounded by glaciers and volcanoes, this vast region is found in the Andes Mountains.  These mountains were formed by the process of convergence and subduction.  In these processes, ocean crust (composition of basalt) collided with continental crust (composition of granite).  As a result, the Andes mountains were thrust upwards from the oceanic and continental plate's collision.


      The Andes continue to grow as the lithosphere begins "rafting" on the asthenosphere.

                         Caption:  A aerial view shot of Patagonia taken from Chile.


Caption:  The picture above shows a fault-line scarp of a normal fault in the Andes.

This normal fault was formed by the process of extension.


The Copahue Volcano below is an active stratovolcano.  It is composed of andesite and has a composite cone with a caldera of twelve miles in diameter.  Since this volcano is near a lake, many geysers exist due to the geothermal activity.  During an eruption, this stratovolcano expels lava with high viscosity.  In the last eruption of Copahue, pyroclastics such as tephras, cinders, and bombs were emitted.  Being near the eruption, locals and tourists inhaled this dangerous ash.  With this volcano surrounded by snow, it is probable that there were lahars.


Caption Below:  The video below gives a great 360 degree view at the solfatara field of the Copahue volcano and shows numerous, basalt-lava flows and dikes.


Caption Below:  A great example of isostatic balance is shown in the glaciers near Patagonia.


            As the glacier recedes and the ice melts, the crust (lithosphere) shows isostatic rebound.           

               Below: Perito Moreno Glacier


Works Cited

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


                                    This blog is created by Jordan Humphreys.

My chosen location is Argentina.  I will cover several geographical locations, however focus mainly on Patagonia, Iguazu Falls, and the Pampas.

My name is Jordan Humphreys.  I am a freshman UCD student.  I am in the Recording Arts program and will major in Music Production, with an emphasis in Music Business.  I am fascinated by the world around me and look forward to learning more about its unique systems.

I chose Argentina as my location simply because it was my favorite country that I visited throughout my travels in South America.  I also plan to move down to Cordoba this summer to teach English and learn Spanish.  Many weekend trips are in the works and while I am there I plan to explore the country from the north tip to the south.   With this in mind, I look forward to attaining an extensive knowledge of the extreme terrain before venturing out and seeing it all in person.