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


  1. I really like your blog, I have had interest in Argentina for years and plan on doing my study abroard program there! I will be following your blog now. I like how the blog was not just plain ol' scientific jargon, however you might be missing some form/process info so maybe squeeze a little more in. Cool pictures though, and the one of the wine tasting pics makes me a weee jealous. "there is strawberry and maybe a hint of edam cheese" "umm yeah i get the strawberries, not the cheese though?" "is that gum in your mouth?" hahaha love Sideways! If you like indys and wine watch the movie "Bottle Shock" great flick!

  2. Jordan-

    I LOVE the blog! I think its quite creative how you use "Figures" to explain the pictures, will have to steal that for mine! Also I really like how you explain the soil and how that soil makes the grapes grow. I feel like you could have explained a few things a little more, but what you have works! Because of Figure 2, you have made me really want to travel to the country! Keep up the good work! Just try to explain a little more in depth on some areas (mass wasting landslides and earthquakes..)

    Kara DeGeneres

  3. Jordan,
    Great job on Blog #2, It is very detailed and informative and yet at the same time not overwhelming. You have superb descriptions and pictures of many forms and process but what you have done a really nice job of, at least compared to me and the rest of your class mates, is that your able to tie them all together for an overall geographical concept that in turn, you can link directly back to the people living there. I like how you not only discussed how people are effected but also how people are effecting their environment (Man-made lakes, irrigation). The only thing i saw wrong about your blog was, and i might be stretching here, in one of your captions you mention the mass wasting is caused by earthquakes. You definitely could be right but when i went back and looked at the lecture i didn't see any thing that indicated this. Over all, amazing blog keep up the great work!!