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Still Waters

France to drain lake under Mont Blanc glacier

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French engineers are set to drain a lake that has formed under a glacier on Mont Blanc, and threatens to flood the St Gervais valley.

The lake, which is said to contain 65,000 cubic metres (2.3m cubic ft) of water, was discovered last month during routine checks.

The engineers plan to dig a hole into the ice and pump the water away.

In 1892, water from an underground lake flooded the same valley, killing 175 people.

The valley is a popular tourist area and is home to some 3,000 people.

The hidden lake, trapped beneath the Tete-Rousse glacier, holds enough water to form a torrent with mud, rocks and trees that would flood the valley in 15 minutes, potentially affecting 900 families.

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So is this going to increase or decrease the glacial melt? I'm assuming that it will increase since the lake would be an insulator from the heat radiated from the ground.

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Note not mentioned in the original post:

The amount of water to be drained equals 26 Olympic sized swimming pools.

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