Breaking Process





The Perito Moreno Glacier is an equilibrium glacier that sometimes forms a natural ice dam, preventing the passage of the water from the Brazo Rico / South to the Argentinian Lake through the Canal de los Témpanos (this is the first instance that has just begun mid September 2019). The process continues as follows. The Rich Arm is endorsed (enclosed) and its level goes up until by the Archimedes buoyancy principle the pushing force exerted by the water on the dike equals its weight.
When the ice takes off at some point in the rocky support, the water begins to filter and the breaking process begins, which is irreversible.

This is NOT due to mechanical ice fracture but to the development of a sub-glacial canal. At the beginning the water is filtered through a small subglacial canal, which is enlarged by the melting of the tunnel walls and the basal ice in floating.
Water pressure continues to erode the tunnel, which is rapidly enlarged by the spectacular falls of huge ice flakes detached from its vault and the water begins to pass like a torrent from Lake Rico to the Canal de los Témpanos.
The final collapse - BREAK - occurs when the arch collapses and the dike disappears. The waters are equalized and a channel communicates again the Rich Arm with the Channel of the Icebergs.
Although the process has begun, the findings that the dike has formed does not mean that the “beginning of the Rupture” but the first of these and the duration of this will depend on different variables. It can last several months until reaching the final stage of RUPTURA.


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