Environment

Why Does This Ice Bridge in Patagonia Keep Collapsing?

Tuesday, 20 March

In southern Argentina, there's an ice bridge that keeps collapsing. As the Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park advances, it crosses a narrow neck between two parts of Lake Argentino, forming a dam. Flowing water tunnels through the blocked section, creating an arch.

Several years after it forms, usually late in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, the arch breaks apart in a spectacular crash. By March 10, park officials expected an imminent collapse. The final break happened the night of March 11, when there was no one to see, although calving continued on March 12.

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