Tasman Lake

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Tasman Lake
Lake Tasman and Mount Cook 101 5770.jpg
Location Mount Cook National Park, South Island
Coordinates 43°41′S 170°10′E / 43.683°S 170.167°E / -43.683; 170.167Coordinates: 43°41′S 170°10′E / 43.683°S 170.167°E / -43.683; 170.167
Type Proglacial lake
Basin countries New Zealand
Max. length 5.75 km
Max. width 1.60 km
Surface area 6.91 km² (2013)
Max. depth >100 m
Surface elevation 732 m (2013)

Tasman Lake is a proglacial lake formed by the recent retreat of the Tasman Glacier in New Zealand's South Island.[1]

In the early 1970s, there were several small meltwater ponds on the Tasman Glacier. By 1990, these ponds had merged into Tasman Lake.[2]

Tour boat among the icebergs on Tasman Lake

Tasman Lake has quickened the retreat of the Tasman Glacier. Initially it did so by undercutting the cliff at the end of the glacier, causing parts of the cliff to fall into the lake. Since 2006, however, a 50–60 m apron of submerged glacial ice projects out from the cliff, and icebergs periodically break off the apron and float away down the lake. Because more of the glacier is now in contact with the water, its rate of retreat has increased. By 2008 the lake was 7 km long, 2 km wide and 245m deep, having almost doubled in area since 2000.[3] It is expected to grow to a maximum length of about 16 km within the next one or two decades.[4]

Tasman Lake, the glacier and the surrounding mountains are part of Mount Cook National Park. Taking a boat tour among the icebergs on the Tasman Lake is now a popular tourist activity.[5]

Like many other geographic places in both New Zealand and Australia, it is named after Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman.

Tasman Lake viewed from near its outlet (right)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Place Name Detail: Tasman Lake". New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 18 April 2008. 
  2. ^ Hochstein, M.P.; Claridge, D.; Henrys, S.A.; Pyne, A.; Nobes, D.C. and Leary, S.F. (1995). Downwasting of the Tasman Glacier, South Island, New Zealand: changes in the terminus region between 1971 and 1993, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 38 (1), 1-16.
  3. ^ Dykes, Robert C.; Brook, Martin S.; Winkler, Stefan (2010). "The contemporary retreat of Tasman Glacier, Southern Alps, New Zealand, and the evolution of Tasman proglacial Lake since AD 2000". Erdkunde 64 (2): 147–148. doi:10.3112/erdkunde.2010.02.03. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Tasman Glacier retreat extreme". Massey University. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  5. ^ Temple, Philip (2009-12-11). "Deniers don't have a rapidly melting glacier to stand on". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 

External links[edit]