Ice Dam Collapses at Argentine Glacier

A portion of the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina’s Patagonia has calved away in a display not seen since 2008, but now only seen by a handful of park-rangers.

The ice dam rupture cycle is not regular and it recurs naturally at any frequency between once a year to less than once a decade. Picture: AAP/EPA

According to Reuters, several tonnes of ice fell away from the 60-metre ice dam into Lago Argentina (“Argentine Lake”) at the national park in southern Santa Cruz province at around 4:00am local time, leaving the several thousands tourists who had traveled to witness the spectacle bitterly disappointed.

“The noise was very great, it was coming down in buckets,” said park ranger Carlos Corvalan.

However, The Telegraph reports that tourists were witness to the ice dams destruction.

The miscommunication may in fact be in reference to who actually saw what happened. The video (below) from Perito Moreno show ice calving away from the glacier, but not an entire collapse as has been reported.

According to Wikipedia, the Perito Moreno glacier slowly advances over the L-shaped lake, forming a natural dam which separates the lake in half. The water on the Brazo Rico side builds up and eventually creates enough pressure that Argentinian bombers sometimes have to detonate the glacier to relieve the strain.

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