The Perito Moreno Glacier in Santa Cruz Province is in the process of rupturing, but there is no cause for concern. Perito Moreno, which currently occupies 250 square kilometers of Los Glacieres National Park in Santa Cruz Province, is one of three Argentine glaciers that — somehow — is still growing and expanding. This beautiful natural phenomenon occurs an average of every four to five years, though it can be as rare as once every decade. The last rupture was in 2013.
The rupture occurs when the glacier’s own weight forces it to spill over the Brazo Rico, or “southern arm” of Lago Argentino, thereby damming that section off from the rest of the lake. As the water level on the dammed section of the lake rises, it creates pressure that eventually breaks through in great bursts of water. The water level has been known to rise 30 meters higher on the dammed Brazo Rico side.
To date, the floodwaters have risen to about 10.5 centimeters and the volume of ice damming the Brazo Rico is also believed to be greater. According to park rangers, these factors should conspire to make for a great show once the glacier reaches its breaking point, although they say the glacier has already begun filtering the built up water. Patagonia, anyone?