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Bright Blue Glacial Lakes of New Zealand’s South Island

44S 170.1E

January 11th, 2012 Category: Lakes

New Zealand - January 10th, 2012

The three bright blue, roughly parallel lakes in this image of New Zealand’s South Island are (from left to right): Lake Oahu, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo. They are all alpine glacial lakes in the Mackenzie Basin, near the Southern Alps. The bright blue color comes from “glacial flour”, the extremely finely ground rock particles from glaciers feeding into the lakes.

Lake Oahu is the smallest of the three, with a surface area of 60 km². Lake Tekapo is the second-largest, covering an area of 83 km². Lake Pukaki is the largest of the three, covering an area of 178.7 km². Visible at the lake’s northern end is the Tasman River.

 

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