Lago Argentino Iceberg

March 04, 2010

20100304 – Thursday - Lago Argentino Iceberg
Fabiano Diniz
Summary Author: Fabiano Diniz; Jim Foster

The photo above shows one of several immense icebergs in Argentino Lake, part of Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina. These huge icebergs have calved from the Upsala Glacier, which is fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Andes Mountains. The blue/green color of this berg has nothing to do with reflection of the water or the sky. Rather, it’s because ice absorbs slightly more red light than blue light. Thus the longer wavelength colors (yellows, oranges and reds) of the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum have been effectively absorbed by the ice crystals so that only the shorter wavelength colors (greens, blues and violets) emerge. This is especially noticeable in the melt hole near the center of this iceberg. In this case even the green wavelengths have been absorbed. Photo taken on January 6, 2010.