I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
- Jul 19, 2004
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- Out of Bounds
The Chilean lake mentioned above is named Lake Cachet II. It turns out the reason for its draining was penetration of a glacial dam rather than a fissure opened by an earthquake.
In June 2007 a glacial lake in the Andes disappeared overnight, and geologists rushed to Patagonia, Chile, to figure out what had happened.
They hypothesized that an earthquake in a neighboring region had created a crack in the earth, draining the lake, but later learned a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) was to blame.
A GLOF occurs when water dammed by a glacier is released, and in the case of Lake Cachet II, the melting of Colonia Glacier had increased water pressure, allowing a tunnel five miles beneath it to open, draining the lake.
Since then, Lake Cachet II has refilled and disappeared several times.