Recent research shows that the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal has very likely caused permanent changes in the Earth’s surface, and unbelievably may have changed the height of Mount Everest.
The U.S. Geological Survey is desperately trying to retrieve data from a GPS station near Everest within the next 11 days. This information will help them understand and discover the impact the earthquake had on Everest.
While the USGS try to carry out this trip to retrieve the essential information, Kenneth Hudnut a geophysicist who works with USGS in Pasadena, California and his colleagues have been analyzing satellite and seismology data on the 25th of April’s estimated magnitude 7.8 earthquake, to better understand what happened and help predict how likely future earthquakes may be. Hudnut’s preliminary research indicates that Mount Everest and the surrounding area may have shifted a few centimeters both vertically and horizontally.
James Jackson, a geologist at Cambridge University has found research that mirrors Hudnut’s findings. Jacksons say that the vertical motion of Everest is expected to be less than 10 centimeters as is the horizontal.
Similar findings was found by scientists in Europe. On April 29th it was announced that preliminary satellite data suggests Everest may have actually decreased by about 2.5 cm. Closer to Kathmandu, ground may have uplifted as much as one meter. However the majority of the data is preliminary, therefore there is yet much needed analysis.