The Patagonian saga continues

We’re back in the USA! Thanks to everyone who followed my explorations of the geology and natural environment in this amazing part of the world—Patagonia. Also thanks for your comments along the way. I wanted to respond to many of them but was sufficiently challenged just getting the initial postings out there.

During the upcoming months, I will be focused on expanding these preliminary explanations into a more thorough field guide for Patagonia. In addition to the locations visited in Argentinian Patagonia, I will be incorporating information from previous explorations in Chilean Patagonia, on the western side of the Andes. For example—Osorno volcano (below) is one of the active stratovolcanoes that are located west of Bariloche; as in Argentina, where glaciers flowed eastward from the Andes, this region is called the lake district where glaciers flowed westward and scoured depressions now filled with water.


Earthquakes will be another important addition to the Patagonian story. The western coast of Chile is a subduction zone that is subject to frequent large-magnitude earthquakes. Near the town of Valdivia (photo below) it is still possible to see sunken forests where the land sank during the 9.5 magnitude earthquake in 1960—the largest historical event on our planet, to date. Of course, the region was again subject to intense shaking during the 9+ magnitude earthquake in 2010.


I will continue to post updates about the geology of Patagonia, although not so frequently. I continue to welcome your comments and perspectives.

Penguin viewing. By the way, you need not go to Patagonia to see penguins in action. At the California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, there is a small colony of African penguins that visitors can gaze upon. Even if you don’t live in San Francisco, or don’t want to visit the academy, you can view them on a live webcam:

It’s particularly interesting at feeding times—10:30 AM and 3:00 PM—when they also have an audio feed that includes discussions among the staff and questions from the on-site audience.

Technical note about blog postings while traveling. This was my first blog. Although set up initially on my home computer, all of the on-the-road postings were done using an iPad. After some initial struggles, this process worked well. Photos must be loaded into iPhoto before they can be uploaded to the WordPress site. Apple makes this easy with a “camera connection kit”—a small memory card reader that connects directly to the iPad. WordPress provides an iPad app that, while lacking many of the “bells and whistles” of their regular site, has a straightforward process for publishing new posts. Since time was always limited, I didn’t mind the lack of fancy formating tools. My iPad uses only a wi-fi connection, which was available at every type of lodging, from basic hostels to fancy hotels. Sometimes connections were incredibly slow, however, and a great deal of patience was often required, especially for uploading photos. All in all, though, it’s a process I’d recommend to others, and it was wonderful not having to carry a computer for 7 weeks.

¡Que les vaya bien! (May everything go well for you.)

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