26 Jun 2007

A lake in the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park in the Magallanes region of Chilean Patagonia, has mysteriously disappeared.

Park rangers said that, in late May, they found a 100-feet-deep crater where the lake had been in March.

‘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,’ said Juan Jose Romero, regional director of CONAF, Chile’s National Forestry Corporation. ,

CONAF is now investigating the disappearance and a group of geologists and other experts will be sent to the area, 1,250 miles southeast of Santiago.
The lake had a surface area of 4-5 hectares, and was fed by water, mostly from melting glaciers. Geologists surmise that ice flows damming up the lake’s natural outlet could have collapsed under the pressure of accumulating lake water.

Another theory is that the area suffered an earth tremor that opened a crack in the ground though which the water must have drained away. Two months ago, a strong earthquake shook the Aysen Fjord, a few hundred kilometers from the lake.


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