Scientists Say Earthquake in Nepal Caused Mount Everest to Shrink


The devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal which has left over 7,000 people dead, over 14,000 injured and a country in ruins, has managed a feat that has caused scientists to sit up and take note.

Home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, the earthquake caused devastation there with avalanches destroying the base camp and leaving at least 20 mountaineers dead. It also caused the mountain to shrink by an inch, revealed UNAVCO, a nonprofit geoscience research consortium.

The analysis was made on the basis of the data from the European Space Agency Sentinel-1A satellite, which crossed the affected area for the first time on April 29.

As soon as the fault between the India and Eurasia tectonic plates slipped and this caused the earthquake, strain was released that let the Earth’s crust to relax. This led to a slight reduction in the height of Everest, which stands 8,848 m (29,029 ft) tall.

However, the Everest is currently in no danger of losing its title as the world’s tallest mountain. Second placed K-2 (8,611 m high) should not get its hopes up at upstaging the Himalayan giant.

Roger Bilham, a fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and a professor in geological sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder said that the Everest had shrunk by only one or two millimeters.

He told the The Huffington Post that the effect can be compared to suddenly releasing an eraser that’s been squeezed. “Squeeze an eraser and it rises,” he remarked. “Let go and it shrinks back to its original shape.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Tribune, The Huffington Post

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