rock flour

Lake Louise, Banff National Park

Kayakers paddle the turquoise surface of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, in this view captured from the Big Beehive hiking trail. Located within Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, the lake’s striking color comes from sunlight reflecting off the rock flour suspended in its waters, seen here deposited with the flow of glacial meltwater.

Photograph by Yohan Dumortier, National Geographic Your Shot


The intense milky-turquoise colours emitting from Lake Tekapo is breathtaking. Surrounded by the Southern Alps, the glacial waters within the coloured lake are once in a lifetime. The area was used by Maori for centuries, and the European settlers only discovered the basin in the mid 1800s. The glacial meltwater carriers ‘rock flour’, ground off the mountains by the moving ice. The rock flour is held in suspension by the lake waters, giving them opacity as well as their pale colour. For such a unique attraction, it is not overrun with tourists, but if you wish to find more space of your own, head further south to Lake Pukaki.