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