Rock made of semi-rounded, small, particles of, mostly, quartz. They are the proof of the resistance of individual crystals, exposed for millions of years to the ocean tides, ever flowing rivers, or dragging wind.

Erratic Block

Fragment of traveller rock that took a one-way ticket on the glacial train and disembarked far away from its origin. Foreigner it waits for the return train, but glaciers never take back what they remove from mountains.


Current era of the story of the Earth. It started 65 million years ago after the impact of a meteorite that left a layer of iridium traceable around the globe.


Bacteria that contain chlorophyl, also known as green-blue algae. They fix CO2 and release O2 and are believed to have exerted a fundamental role in the composition of our atmosphere. At the Laguna de los Cisnes, Porvenir, these little beings photosensitize along with other algae taking CO2 from the atmosphere, they combine it with magnesium and calcium present in the saline waters, which they deposit forming the stromatolites.  


Rocky community of pebbles, usually coming from far away, all cohabiting together among particles of sand filling the empty spaces.


“Hill crest” in irish, they are asymmetric mounts, long and thin, indicating the direction of retreat of ice tongues.



Process of wearing of rocks and mountains and of sculpture of the landscape through the action of ice, rivers, sea, and wind. The rocky fragments are stripped away from high lands, transported downhill where they accumulate and eventually form new rocks that await to be eroded and start again.

Patagonian steppe

The flat steppe is the wide territory undisturbed by tectonic forces remaining flat. An ecoregion occupying an important part of Patagonia, Chilean and Argentinian, characterised by wide meadows, low hills, fluvial valleys, and creeks. Where wind blows fiercely in the summer and dry freezes shudder during the winter.

Stratified rock/rock stratum

Record and exhibition of local geological history. Soil, sediments, and materials that come from a variety of sources such as the ocean floor, sand carried by the wind, volcanic lava flows, etc, that accumulate on the surface of the Earth, recent on top of old ones. Millions of years and the weight of new sediments transform these disaggregated materials into solid layers of rock. Each stratum is the fossil of an epoch; recording how was the world, climate, and life, while sediments were accumulating. The complete sequence exposes the chronology of the past and exhibits the processes that shaped the landscape of the present.


Rock resulting from the slow process of subaquatic sedimentation. Particles of mud, smaller than sand, travel with infinite patience towards the bottom of lakes and marine basins. Without slowing down their weightless suspension, they accumulate over years to form a dark grey rock.

Fold and Thrust Belt

Collection of mountain belts located behind a Cordillera and in front of the undeformed land (also known as foreland). Just like the wrinkles of a crumpled carpet, they accumulate the deformation driven by mountain building processes by folding rocks and transporting older strata on top of new. This is an effective method for shortening the crust and moulding the topography into a wavy array of parallel, elongated mountain ranges organised one after the next, facing the force of compression.

Geological Fault

Embrace between two blocks of rock, the friction of their contact resists the forces that attempt to separate them. The Earth shakes when they finally pull apart, from the depth to the surface, seismic waves irradiate furiously once the blocks of rock give in to pressure and slip along the discontinuity that delimitates them. To feel an earthquake is to experience the break of this bond, which stubbornly resumes its resistance. The future break is as certain as inevitable; when it will happen remains the only unknown.


Science that studies the Earth, its external processes and internal movements, all interacting through timescales of millions of years.


Branch of geology that studies the shapes of the landscape and the ever-changing evolution of the processes that originated them.


Aggrupation of geological landmarks, either formations, geological structures, minerals, land shapes, rocks, meteorites, fossils, soils, or any geological manifestation holding a scientific, cultural or educational value.


A geological formation, rocky object or landscape that is worth preserving due to its geological singularity and/or beauty.


Being made of ice, thousands of years old. With the patience gathered by age it received the gifts of the sky, stores the memory of water, and slowly crawls filling and emptying valleys and fjords, dancing at the rhythm of the changing climate.


Period of cold weather in which precipitation in the form of snow increases and glaciers advance through ocean and land.


Shape or structure. The morphology of physical elements on landscapes are indicative of the processes that created them and condition the way they are inhabited.


From Greek oros (mountain) and genesis (origin). Process of uplift and formation of mountains and cordilleras. It occurs when two tectonic plates converge, experiencing an intense and sustained compressive force. They react by deforming. Rock strata, once horizontal, are folded and fractured shortening and thickening the crust. Topography is uplifted, rough and chaotic.


It comes from the French paysage, derived from pays, which means ‘rural territory’ or ‘country’. Concept that requires an observer and an observed object, the RAE defines it as part of a territory that can be observed from a certain place.

According to Georg Simmel, in order to be aware of being in front of a landscape, our senses must stop focusing on a particular element and cover a broader visual field, that is, perceive a new unit that is not a mere sum of punctual elements; only then will we be before a landscape.

Cultural Landscape

It is that landscape in which we can see the intervention of man in a territory. On the other hand, the cultural landscape can be both tangible and intangible, some of the elements are the population, buildings, industrialization and communication.

Natural Landscape

It is that natural environment which has not been intervened by the hand of man, we see these landscapes less and less, since many times to be observed it is necessary to intervene in some way or another in the attempt to access them.

Natural patrimony

Set of natural or environmental goods and wealth that society has inherited from its predecessors, and to which an exceptional value is granted.

Landscape profile

That line of the horizon that draws the topography of a landscape, this profile can be flat, abrupt, continuous, uneven, everything depends on the morphology of that landscape.

Tectonic plate

Rigid fragment of the Earth’s crust in which all life takes place. Piece of the puzzle that floats above the asthenosphere, the hot and plastic layer of the Earth, dozens of kilometres below our feet. The interaction between these fragments of the crust is known as Plate Tectonics, and is the driving force of the Earth’s dynamisms, mountain building, and volcanism.

Terra incognita

From the Latin meaning “unknown land”, it is a territory that has not yet been explored by man. Terra Incógnita was mainly called the southern hemisphere, as it was written in the planispheres prior to the year 1830, when those remote places were still very little explored.


Morphological feature that stands out due to is gentle slope, resting on mountainous reliefs. These planar surfaces can be formed either due to erosion or sedimentary filling. They are isolated samples of brief instants of equilibrium and peace during terrestrial processes.


Mathematical description of the landscape according to its altitude. Allows to visualise the shapes formed by valleys, mountains and the gentlest of reliefs.


The marine territory, inhabiting, transiting and operating from the seas. It is made up of continental, insular and Antarctic marine and marine-coastal ecosystems, and covers the coastal zone, inland waters, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf and, in general, the coastline.


Wind belts from the west that turn around the planet migrating towards the north until the latitude of Puerto Montt during cold weather and towards the south, until Drake Sea, when it’s hot. Inseparable and fundamental element of Patagonia, it permeates and shapes every aspect, from culture to land shaping.


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