MAY 05, 2015 05:52 AM PDT

Is Everest Shorter After Nepal Quake?

Besides the huge death toll, the devastating damage to homes and communities and the aftershocks that continue to occur there could be another consequence of the Nepal earthquake.
The North Face of Mount Everest. Scientists believe the height of the summit may have changed due to the earthquake in Nepal
Scientists think it's possible that Mount Everest may have gotten a bit shorter due to the changes in the Earth's surface caused by the quake. It's also possible that because the ground rose in parts of Nepal the world's tallest mountain could also be taller.

Geologists from the U.S. Geological survey need to get data from a GPS device located about 17 miles from the summit of Everest before any determination can be made. The device is no longer transmitting data, so researchers have to physically go get it to download the information it recorded during the quake. The earth moved not only up and down during the 7.8 quake but also from side to side and all of this movement could have changed the height of the summit.

Satellite data analyzed by geologists in Europe suggests that Everest may have shrunk in height by about an inch but no real determination can be made until climbers can actually be on the mountain and survey the damage up close.

(Source: National Geographic)
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