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Current Affairs

Why did Height of Mt Everest change?

Date: 11 December 2020 Tags: Geography & Environment

Issue

During a recent study conducted by Nepal and China, the height of Mt Everest was found to be 86 cm more than the previous estimates.

 

Background

Being a young mountain with active seismic region, Himalayas are continuously growing. This has made Everest to grow too.

 

Details

  • The mountain’s height changes as movement of tectonic plates can lift it up gradually, while earthquakes can bring it down.

  • Measuring the height above sea level has always been tricky because ocean levels vary considerably depending on tides, magnetism and other factors. Rising sea levels are creating another factor for future measurements.

  • As measured from the Earth’s core, Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo is the world’s highest, standing more than 2,072 meters (6,800 feet) above Everest. Because the Earth bulges in the middle, mountains along the equator are farther from the core.

 

Convergent boundaries

  • A convergent boundary is an area on Earth where two or more lithospheric plates collide.

  • One plate eventually slides beneath the other, a process known as subduction. The subduction zone can be defined by a plane where many earthquakes occur, called the Wadati–Benioff zone.

  • Convergent boundaries occur between oceanic-oceanic lithosphere, oceanic-continental lithosphere, and continental-continental lithosphere. The geologic features related to convergent boundaries vary depending on crust types.

  • The Himalayan mountain range and Tibetan plateau have formed as a result of the collision between the Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate which began 50 million years ago and continues today.

  • The Himalayas are still rising by more than 1 cm per year as India continues to move northwards into Asia, which explains the occurrence of shallow focus earthquakes in the region today.