One of the most unique shows of nature is the rupture of Perito Moreno Glacier. This phenomenon does not have a single repetition period. It means,breaks do not have a fixed periodicity. Traditionally it was estimated one every three or four years, but there have been times where they happened in shorter periods and others in which it did not occur for many years, fearing the possibility that the phenomenon would have stopped occurring. Breaks occurred in the years, 1917, 1935, 1940, 1942, 1947, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013 (two events, one in January and one in December), 2016 and in March 2018 and 2019
THE PROCESS OF THE RUPTURE
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.
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 floating basal ice. The 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. Although the process has begun and the findings that the dike has been formed does not mean that it is “the Rupture” but the first of the stages and the duration of this will depend on different variables. It can last several months until reaching the final stage of Rupture.