‘Calving’ on 650m-wide glacier front creates massive icebergs


A major ‘calving’ event on the front face of New Zealand’s Tasman Glacier has created the largest-ever iceberg seen on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

‘Calving’ on 650m-wide glacier front creates massive icebergs
The largest ever ‘calving’ on the front of Tasman Glacier has created the largest-ever iceberg seen on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

The calving, believed to have happened in the early hours of Saturday, 23 February, saw the entire 650m-wide face of the Tasman Glacier, located in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, break away into the lake. The ice broke into around 20 huge icebergs, including one which Glacier Explorers operations manager, Bede Ward describes as the largest they have ever seen.

"The last major calving we had was just over a year ago and was estimated at 30 million tonnes of ice braking off the glacier," he says. "This is much, much larger. This iceberg surpasses the largest, single iceberg (nicknamed Taniwha) we've ever had on the lake by quite a lot.

"The sheer walls of this iceberg reach 40 to 50 metres in height above the waterline, and would almost certainly be 200 to 250 metres beneath the water line. That's simply enormous."

Glacier Explorers trips depart seven times a day, leaving every hour and a half. Bookings are essential.

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