Mount Everest has shifted this year

Mount Everest has shifted this year
Credit: Arsgera/Shutterstock

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, sits at over 29,000 feet. This is more than three times the height of Mount Lemmon and twice the height of the highest point in the 48 states. But this mountain has shifted more than normal so far this year, here is why:

The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal a few months ago did more than just destroy cities, it moved mountains, literally. A report issued by the Chinese National Administration of Surveying has found the mountain has moved four centimeters by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Over the last ten years the mountain itself has shifted to the northeast by 40 centimeters, at a rate of four centimeters a year. But the earthquake made it shift in the opposite direction by four centimeters.

Mount Everest is still growing and moving thanks to the Indian plate still colliding into the Eurasian plate, hence the normal movement of the mountain to the northeast. But a shift to the southwest is highly unusual, one only an earthquake could probably cause.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake was one of two that hit the area back in April. It killed more than 8,700 people in Nepal and damaged half a million homes. It caused an avalanche on Everest that killed 18 people and damaged the base camp which canceled all climbs this year.

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