The Striking Colors of Petrohué Waterfalls

Emerald Water, colored by glacial minerals

Glacial meltwater from Lake Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake) forms Petrohué River and, where the river flows over lava from the Orsorno Volcano, Petrohué Falls. This set of photographs features the emerald color the river originating from glacial minerals.

Click any photograph for a larger view.

A strangeness of these photographs is this is the middle of February, Chilean summertime.

Force of Nature

Another strangeness, not readily apparent, is the effect of the Coriolis force. Here in the Northern Hemisphere water (any moving mass, really) moving perpendicular to the rotating surface of the earth (a property of water is the surface follows the contour of the solid surface over which it flows) will tend to flow in a clockwise direction. Crossing the equator, in the Southern Hemisphere the tendency reverses, tending to flow to the left, counter-clockwise. With some imagination the effect of the Coriolis force can be seen in the following photograph.

24 thoughts on “The Striking Colors of Petrohué Waterfalls

  1. Beautiful photographs! I first learned about the coriolis force in high school when an exchange student from Quito, Ecuador brought it to my attention. I didn’t know the name for it then.

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      1. I can’t imagine doing that NOW but sadly, I have done EXACTLY that before I had any interest in photography. Zilch! (Don’t tell anyone but people with cameras used to annoy me). My thought was that the pictures were forever in my memory. Spent time in Germany and Austria without taking a single picture. I don’t have any pictures from my first time in Maui either. Talk about regrets! 😢

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