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Climate crisis reveals the deepest lake in America

Argentine and Chilean scientists discovered in the Austral Patagonia the one that could being the deepest lake in the American continent and one of the five in the worlda finding as a result of the retreat of the ice due to climate change, the University of Chile reported this Friday.

In a statement, the institution explained that the researchers were able last May measure the depth of Lake Viedma, near the glacier of the same name, in an unexplored area to date since it was covered by what seemed like eternal ice, and they discovered that it sinks to a depth of 900 meters.

“The Viedma Glacier has experienced from 2014 to date a loss of 5.5 km2 of ice surface due to a frontal retreat of 2 kmwhich has revealed an unexplored area”, explains the note.

“Researchers navigated Lake Viedma in a vessel belonging to the Administration of National Parks of Argentina with which a detailed survey of the bottom of the lake was carried out. To the surprise of the researchers, the bottom presents a trench that reaches a maximum depth of 900 meters ± 3% error. It is an absolute record in Patagonia and South America,” he adds.

According to the researchers, associated with the Andean-Ianigla Geomatics Laboratory, Conicet-Argentina, the National University of Cuyo and the University of Chile (Andrés Rivera) “this means that the bottom of the lake near the current front is about 650 meters “below sea level”.

“With the results obtained, the Viedma becomes the deepest in the American continent and the fifth on the planet,” underlines the publication.

The scientists, who had the logistical support of Los Glaciares National Park, also confirmed that the lake has a complex vertical structure, with surface temperatures of about 7 degrees Celsius that drop to zero degrees Celsius at the bottom of the lake, which It was formed by the erosive force possessed by glaciers.

For at least the last million years They have expanded several times, occupying a large part of the southern Patagonian region. and when receding from the last Glaciation, about 18,000 years ago, they left in their wake the great Patagonian lakes, the Strait of Magellan and the set of fjords and channels of Western Patagonia.

Research in these lakes is important to reconstruct long-term glacial variations, understand the recent fluctuations of the fronts and thus explain the differences in behavior in terms of their dynamics that this type of glacier currently exhibits, the scientists recall.

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