Friday, April 11, 2008

Chile: One of Our Lakes is Missing

Date: 04.11.2008

Lago Cachet vanished in the early hours of 7 April

Experts from the Center for Scientific Study in Valdivia (CECS) have reported the disappearance of another lake of glacial origin in the Aysen region after having been alerted by an "unusual swell" of the Baker River. It was Lago Cachet, which was located some 1,700 km south of Santiago de Chile, and occupied a surface of four kilometers long and one wide.

According to Radio Cooperativa, scientists explained that the new glacial voiding was confirmed by Jonathan Leidich of the Patagonia Adventure Expeditions company, who visited the area on Wednesday.

Last year, between the months of April and May, Lago Tempanos at Campo de Hielo Sur disappeared. This lake was 1.8 square kilometers in size. The CECS stated that Cachet is two and a half times larger and held a water volume five times greater.
These 200 billion liters of water emptied in a few hours on the evening of April 6-7. The research center added that the emptying caused the partial collapse of the Colonia Glacier, flooding significant parts of the river valley and the Baker River, but without causing any accidents or loss of life.

The frequency of this phenomena in Chile's southern region has us concerned, as it confirms that these events, which occur periodically in glacier basins, are probably becoming more frequent due to the increase in temperature linked to climate changes experienced by our planet," said experts. "This flood reminds us that event such as this may occur periodically and be magnified by the recent warming experienced by the zone," added scientists, referring to the high temperatures experienced southern Chile this summer.

(Translation (c) 2008, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Liliana Nunez)