Large Lake in Southern Chile Has Disappeared

“In March we patrolled the area and everything was normal…We went again in May and to our surprise, we found the lake had completely disappeared. The only things left were chunks of ice on the dry lake bed and an enormous fissure.”

– Juan Jose Romero, Reg. Dir., CONAF

Perhaps as much as 10 acres of lake water one hundred feet deep are gone from the Magallanes region of southern Chile.Ice chunks were left behind and a new, large ground fissure, which might have resulted from an earthquake between March and May 2007. Perhaps the lake water is underground. Image courtesy CONAF.
Perhaps as much as 10 acres of lake water one hundred feet deep are gone from the Magallanes region of southern Chile.Ice chunks were left behind and a new, large ground fissure, which might have resulted from an earthquake between March and May 2007. Perhaps the lake water is underground. Image courtesy CONAF.

June 21, 2007  Santiago, Chile  – Chile’s National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) reports that water in a well known lake covering perhaps as much as ten acres 100-feet-deep in the Magallanes region near Chile’s southern tip has vanished.

CONAF’s Regional Director, Juan Jose Romero, told Reuters:  “In March we patrolled the area and everything was normal. …We went again in May and to our surprise, we found the lake had completely disappeared. The only things left were chunks of ice on the dry lake bed and an enormous fissure.”

The lake water source was largely melting glaciers. Some speculate that perhaps between the March and May patrols, there was an earthquake that opened up the fissure and all the lake water went underground. That hypothesis is unproved, but Southern Chile has had thousands of minor earthquakes in 2007 – although no specific seismic event is known to have occurred between March and May at the lake site.

 Red circle marks the Magallanes region of southern Chile where the lake disappeared, leaving behind ice chunks and a large ground fissure.
Red circle marks the Magallanes region of southern Chile where the lake disappeared, leaving behind ice chunks and a large ground fissure.

More Information:

For further information about global warming and melting glaciers, please see reports below in the Earthfiles Archive:

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Websites:

Chile National Forest Corp:  http://www.conaf.cl/

Journal Science:  http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/308/5727/1429

Ohio State University:  http://www.osu.edu/features/2006/globalwarning/


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