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Lake in Northwest Territories about to fall off cliff and disappear

Canadian lake to fall over cliff.In a few months this lake will fall over the cliff in front of it and become no more. Photo from University of Alberta.

You might not think of a lake as something that could fall over a cliff but, well, a lake could fall over a cliff.  Indeed, a small, unnamed lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada will soon, in a few months time, do just that.  The Lake, let’s call it Fallover Lake, is perched high above the MacKenzie Valley and, geologist say, the earth that is in front of it is gradually eroding away.

And when the earth rampart in front of it goes, well, so goes Fallover Lake.  It’s really about melting permafrost, a phenomena that is occurring at a greater rate than it ever has in the territories.  It all comes courtesy, you guessed it, climate change.  That’s what eroding permafrost and it will be the principal reason that Fallover Lake falls over the cliff.

“It (climate change) is changing the form of the landscape in ways that have not impacted this environment in the last several hundreds of thousands of years,” Steve Kokelj of the Northwest Territories Geological Survey told media.

Kokelj says the lake has “a ways to travel” when it pitches over; 600 feet down in fact.  There are no homes below but a warning to folks in the region has been issued anyhow.  You definitely don’t want to be in the path of Fallover Lake when it falls over; it may only be a couple of hectares in size and a few meters deep but a massive amount of water will be tumbling down that cliff.

It is, naturally, something most of us would like to see – and we’ll be able to.  Cameras have already been set up to record the event for research purposes and posterity.  “We’re just hoping the cameras don’t get obliterated by the release of water,” Kokelj said.



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Marcus Hondro
Marcus Hondro

Actor, writer, father, gadfly, ‘Nucks fan.

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