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By Damien Gayle. An amateur photographer on holiday in Argentina captured this breathtaking picture of the moment an enormous ice bridge ruptured and plunged into a lake below. Christian Grosso was visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina's Patagonia region and had his camera trained on the ice bridge at the opportune moment.
Another holidaymaker had a camcorder to capture a video of the dramatic collapse. Collapse: Christian Grosso captured this breathtaking image of an ice bridge collapsing at the southern tip of the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, last month. Splash: The collapse sent a huge wave surging through the waters of Lake Argentino, which the bridge spanned. The dramatic collapse sends thousands of tons of ice plummeting into the waters, sending a massive wave surging through the lake below.
At nearly 20 miles long, the Perito Moreno is one of the largest in Patagonia, a region at South America's chilly southern tip. Extending down from the Southern Patagonian Icefield, high in the Andes, the glacier's tip periodically cuts off Lake Argentino's major southern arm, which is known as Brazo Rico, according to Nasa's Earth Observatory.
This tip slices right across a narrow section of the lake, meeting the opposite shoreline to form a natural dam which prevents lake water circulating from one side to the other. Nasa scientist Jim Foster told OurAmazingPlanet: 'This glacier is somewhat unique in that its path takes it across an arm of a large lake.
This is how the icy span looked moments before the collapse: The tip of the glacier periodically grows to dam the waters of Lake Argentino, until huge pressures blow it in a cataclysmic display of natural power. Dr Foster curates the Earth Science Picture of the Day, which featured Mr Grosso's photo, taken on January 19, at the height of the southern hemisphere's summer.