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O'Higgins/San Martin Lake

The lake known as '''O'Higginsin Chile and San Martin''' in Argentina, is located around coordinates in the Patagonia, between the Aysen Region and the Santa Cruz Province.

Its surface is of 1,058 km at 250 metres above mean sea level, and has a shoreline length of 525 km. The lake is the deepest in the Americas with a maximum depth of 836 metres near O'Higgins Glacier, and its characteristic milky light-blue color comes from rock flour suspended in its waters. It's mainly fed by the Mayer River and other streams, and its outlet Pascua River discharges water from the lake towards the Pacific Ocean at a rate of 510 m/s.

The Southern Patagonian Ice Sheet extend from the lake for 330 kilometres to the Viedma Lake and Argentino Lake. The O'Higgins Glacier flows eastwards towards the lake, as does the Chico Glacier.

Immigrants did not settle in the arid windy area around the lake until the 1910s, when British, Scandinavian and Swiss started raising sheep for wool.

The most common tourist path visiting the lake is that between El Chalten in Argentina and Villa O'Higgins in Chile, including a ferry through the lake on the Chilean side.


Being the most irregular of the lakes in the area, consisting of eight well defined arms, the name San Martin is sometimes used to refer only to the Argentine side, and O'Higgins to the 4 Chilean arms. Both names come from independence heroes Jose de San Martin of Argentina and Bernardo O'Higgins of Chile, who even fought together for the liberation of Chile, and became to be known as Liberators of America together with other South American figures.

The 4 Argentine arms of the lake, with an area of 521 km, are named Cancha Rayada, Chacabuco, Maipu and De la Lancha, after battles of General San Martin,

External links

Border crossing Chalten to O'Higgins

Map of the area

CECS, Depth of Lake O'Higgins/San Martin

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article O'Higgins/San Martin Lake

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