This image of a Patagonian glacier was aqcuired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on May 2, 2000. Patagonia is a mountainous region spanning the border between Chile and Argentina near the southern tip of South America. The image covers an area of 36 x 30 kmâthe full-size image has a resolution of 15 meters per pixel. Vegetation appears red in the image, which is a false-color composite of near-infrared, red, and green light displayed as red, green, and blue, respectively.
This large glacier is riddled with crevassesâdeep cracks in the ice. The semi-circular ridge at the far left of the image is composed of rock and soil carried there by the glacier which was even larger in the past. This type of feature is called a âterminal moraineâ. The pools of water at the foot of the glacier are light-colored due to the fine silt suspended in them. A braided stream winds through more silt deposited by the glacier and cuts through the terminal moraine about one third of the way down from its top. Along the right side of the image are a series of parallel valleys that were likely cut by arms of the glacier which have since receded.
Credit Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS,and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team