Thursday, June 18, 2015

How strong was the earthquake in Nepal? Enough to actually shove Mount Everest.

[Washington Post] Watching from the the other side of the globe, it can hard to fathom the power of a massive earthquake like the magnitude 7.8 tremor that rocked Nepal on April 25, killing more than 8,500 people.
Here's another way to think about it: The quake was so powerful that it physically shoved over the world's highest peak by 3 centimeters, or about 1.2 inches, according to Chinese state media.
That data comes from "a satellite monitoring system" that the Chinese government set up in 2005 to observe the movement of the mountain, state media reported.
The mountain is constantly moving, even without earthquakes.
"Monitoring data collected by the department from 2005 to 2015 shows that the mountain has been moving at a speed of four centimeters per year and has been growing by 0.3 centimeters annually," state media said. The mountain's slow-moving journey is caused by the collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which forces the ground upward, creating the Himalayas.
The quake didn't affect Everest's height, but it reversed nine months of northeasterly movement in a matter of seconds, according to CNN. It also triggered several deadly avalanches on the mountain that killed 19 and strapped more than 100 others on the peak, bringing a swift end to the 2015 climbing season. Read More