The previously frozen ground has been melting, resulting in changes in the local landscape of Canada’s Northwest Territories not seen since the end of the last ice age.
A small lake in Canada is about to burst through the shrinking barrier of earth holding it back, before falling off a cliff. The doomed lake was previously held back by a headwall containing ice that has been there for 20,000 years. As the wall has been slowed eroded away, the ice has melted, leaving the wall increasingly more exposed and leading to massive slumps of debris.
One more slump could literally push the unlucky lake over the edge.
While the phenomenon is dramatic, it’s not unique. Climate change is thought to be causing previously frozen ground in Canada’s Northwest Territorie to melt, resulting in changes in the local landscape.
Tens of thousands of cubic metres of water will be sent crashing over the edge once the wall finally falls, but luckily there are no homes or towns in the anticipated flood path.Cameras have been installed at the site to monitor the situation.
“We’re just hoping the cameras don’t get obliterated by the release of water,” said Steve Kokelj of the Northwest Territories Geological Survey.
(Image credit: HO-University of Alberta-Scott Zolkos)