Perito Moreno glacier does its most spectacular show

Breaking News! Yesterday (4 March 2012) the ice dam that was connecting the Perito Moreno glacier to the peninsula in front of it burst and released all of the water that had been trapped behind it in an arm of Lago Argentina. Unfortunately, we were there about a month too early! But even those who were in the region were denied views and photos of the spectacular rupture, which occurred at 3:45 AM. The ice dam had begun to break up on Wednesday and visitors were excitedly awaiting the grand finale. On Saturday, ice falls accelerated, but it was not until everyone had been forced to leave the national park that the pressure of the rising water broke the arc of floating ice above. Only the stars and the wildlife were able to observe it. If you search the Internet, you’ll find photos (before and after but not of the fall itself) and explanations of the physics behind this event, which last occurred in 2008. No one knows when it will happen again—perhaps in 1 year, or perhaps in 4 or 5. It’s enough to keep the tourist hordes coming from around the world!

Here’s a link with good photos:


2 comments on “Perito Moreno glacier does its most spectacular show

  1. kass says:

    karen– that collapse must have been spectacular indeed, to think of the water levels rising to come up to the bottom of the ice arch as you describe, before the final collapse.

    I saw this video on the internet, in which the ice falls looked stunning — only to learn that this video was most likely the set of smaller falls that happened before the grand finale. amazing.

  2. Thanks for this link Kass. Here is another video that shows falls during the last “big event” in 2008 (still not the entire collapse but impressive none the less):

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