Blue waters of the Canadian Rockies

Windblown water of Lake Alma, Banff

If you’ve ever experienced the vivid blue waters of the lakes and rivers of the Canadian Rockies, you know how stunning they can be, particularly on bright sunny days.  It’s not the clear blue sky itself that creates the colour, nor is it the fanciful tale that it comes from the colourful tail of the Peacock.

So how does this colour form?  It occurs as a result of what’s called ‘rock flour’, a powdery substance created in the glaciers which feed the mountain lakes and streams.  Rocks trapped in the glaciers grind against each other, forming the flour.  Glacier meltwater washes it into the Lakes and streams resulting in the vivid blue and stunning turquoise colour.

Athabasca Falls/River, Jasper National Park

Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks, Banff National Park


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