Global Climate Change

Glacier Calving, NZ

Glacier Calving, NZ

Largest iceberg ‘calved’ in 25 years from Tasman Glacier Terminal Face, Mt. Cook, New Zealand
A three meter tidal wave surging down Aoraki Mount Cook’s Terminal Lake was the first indicator of the largest single iceberg in 25 years calving directly from the Tasman Glacier terminal face yesterday (10 February). The giant slab of ice or ‘calf’, estimated to be 250m long by 250m wide by 80m high, plunged into the Terminal Lake in the early afternoon, the most significant single calving in the lake’s 25-year existence.  A second iceberg about quarter of the size calved from the face shortly afterwards.

Glacier Explorers Operations Manager Bede Ward, whose company takes visitors on boat trips to view the Tasman Glacier face from the water, said the calving happened between trips but made quite a splash.

Terminal face calving

Terminal face calving

Last week passengers onboard Glacier Explorers boat trips witnessed the calving of “The Bomb”, an eight meter wide and 30 meter chunk of turquoise ice.“We thought that took the cake but this new iceberg, is absolutely massive. It supersedes the last significant one named “Sir Edmund Hillary” which calved on January 11, 2008, the same day Sir Edmund Hillary passed away. “We’re getting more and more icebergs now so we’re naming them in order to track and communicate changes and locations.  “Since the Terminal Lake began forming in 1973, the Tasman Glacier’s retreat has noticeably quickened because the lake is expanding all the time and is causing a more rapid melt of the terminal face. I think we may be looking at major calving from the terminal face as an annual event now.”

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