Aerial view of ice calving from the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's largest. Photo: Richard Bottomley

8 February 2019 (BBC) – Huge chunks of ice have broken off the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's largest.

They have filled up at least a quarter of the meltwater lake at the foot of the glacier in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, reports say.

The lake started to form in the 1970s as the glacier rapidly retreated - a phenomenon thought to have been largely caused by global warming.

One guide says the chunks resemble huge skyscrapers lying on their side in the water.

"We've got skyscraper-size icebergs floating around on the lake," Glacier Kayaking owner Charlie Hobbs told Radio New Zealand.

Another two local guides were alerted to the event early on Wednesday morning.

The falling ice chunks led to some "chaos" on the water, Anthony Harris, a guide at Southern Alps Guiding, told the stuff New Zealand website.

A tidal surge up to two metres (6.5ft) high damaged a lake jetty and lifted a boat trailer upside down onto another trailer, Mr Harris said.

"All in all, this is the most significant event I've seen in the last five years on the Tasman." [more]

Tasman Glacier: Huge ice chunks break off New Zealand glacier

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