Alberto de Agostini National Park

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Alberto de Agostini National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Marinelli Glacier Cordillera Darwin.jpg
Marinelli Glacier
Map showing the location of Alberto de Agostini National Park
Map showing the location of Alberto de Agostini National Park
Location Magallanes Region, Chile
Coordinates 54°44′57″S 70°26′23″W / 54.74906°S 70.43967°W / -54.74906; -70.43967Coordinates: 54°44′57″S 70°26′23″W / 54.74906°S 70.43967°W / -54.74906; -70.43967
Area 14,600 km2 (5,637 sq mi)
Governing body Corporación Nacional Forestal

Alberto de Agostini National Park (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈβerto ðe aɣosˈtini]) is a park located in the Chilean part of Tierra del Fuego. It covers 14,600 km2 (5,637 sq mi) and includes the Cordillera Darwin mountain range. The park is named after Alberto Maria De Agostini, who was an Italian missionary and explorer. Several tidewater glaciers and steep fjords form part of this park. The park also comprises the islands Gordon, Cook, Londonderry and part of the Hoste Island (excluding the Hardy Peninsula and other portions).

History[edit]

The area was visited by Charles Darwin. Picturesque areas such as Agostini Fjord were discovered only in the past century.

The park, along with Cabo de Hornos National Park, was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005, which is called Cabo de Hornos.[1]

Geography[edit]

The park features a highly irregular coastline, which is deeply indented by fjords. The centerpiece of the park is the Cordillera Darwin, whose slopes drop precipitously to the sea. The Darwin range is dominated by Monte Darwin and Monte Sarmiento. The valleys not filled by the sea are covered by glaciers, which also occupy small high plateaus.

Geology[edit]

Romanche Glacier

Much of the landscape of the park has been sculpted by glaciers. The largest glacier is the Marinelli, which is in a state of retreat as of 2008.[2] One of the most stunning portions of the park is the Seno Pía, an embayment of the Beagle Channel.[3] The glaciers and mountains in this area form an amazing scenery, which also comprises the majestic Mount Darwin. Another glacier-related highlight of the park is the Avenue of the Glaciers, where the word avenue is used in a figurative sense describing a zone of the north-west arm of the Beagle Channel from which is possible to appreciate several beautiful glaciers when sailing along the north shore of it. These glaciers are: España, Romanche, Alemania (also known as Roncagli), Italia, Francia and Holanda.

Climate[edit]

The climate of the park is classified as subpolar oceanic climate.

Biology[edit]

Seno Pía

Ecoregion[edit]

The park is part of the Magellanic subpolar forests ecoregion. This pristine coastal ecosystem is home to various species of trees such as the Coihue of Magallanes (Nothofagus betuloides) and the Canelo (Drimys winteri).

Wildlife[edit]

The wildlife is mainly marine and includes Marine Otters, South American Sea Lions and Southern Elephant Seals.

Tourism[edit]

No roads lead to the park and most visitors arrive by cruise ship or other boats.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ UNESCO - Park description at UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008 Bahia Wulaia Dome Middens, Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham
  3. ^ USGS. "P 1386-I -- Chile and Argentina - Wet Andes". Archived from the original on 19 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-09.