Del Desierto Lake

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Del Desierto Lake
Lago Desierto 182.jpg
LocationLago Argentino Department, Santa Cruz Province
Primary inflowsDiablo river
Primary outflowsLas Vueltas river
Basin countriesArgentina
Surface elevation506 metres (1,660 ft)

The Del Desierto lake or Lake of the Desert (called Lago del Desierto in Argentina and Laguna del Desierto in Chile) is a lake, located in the Lago Argentino Department, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. The lake, located near the mount Fitz Roy and the O'Higgins/San Martín Lake, has been the subject of a territorial dispute between Argentina and Chile, escalating to a small battle on 6 November 1965 when 40 to 90 members of the Argentine Gendarmerie fought against four Chilean Carabineros resulting the lieutenant Hernán Merino killed and a sergeant injured, both members of Carabineros, the dispute was solved favourably for Argentina in 1994 with an arbitration.

The map shows the dispute between Chile & Argentina.


Lago del Desierto, with Mount Fitz Roy (Cerro Chaltén) in the background.

The region is a valley around the Laguna del Desierto (Spanish for "Lake of the Desert") located at 49°02′13″S 72°51′49″W / 49.03694°S 72.86361°W / -49.03694; -72.86361 (Laguna del Desierto) north and east of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (Spanish Campo de Hielo Sur), only accessible from the Chilean side from the North (approx. 30 km south of Villa O'Higgins). It is accessible without obstacles from the Argentine side.

The valley is located between the Martínez de Rozas Range at the east and the (east) glaciers of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field at the west side and the lake get the waters of many rivers from the range and the glaciers and its waters flow through the de las Vueltas River (south side), to the Viedma lake and then to the Atlantic Ocean.

The contended area was about 500 km2 of territory.

See also[edit]