Indian officials plan to measure Mt Everest to prove earthquake theory wrong

The Indian government's mapping organisation Survey of India will send an expedition to the world's tallest peak later this year. Photo / 123RF
The Indian government's mapping organisation Survey of India will send an expedition to the world's tallest peak later this year. Photo / 123RF

The Indian government plans to measure the height of Mount Everest to put to rest speculation that a powerful earthquake in 2015 may have caused it to shrink.

The government's mapping organisation Survey of India will send an expedition to the world's tallest peak later this year, the agency's chief Swarna Subba Rao says.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake in the Himalayas on April 25, 2015 - which devastated Nepal's capital Kathmandu - prompted scientists to wonder if the Everest's height and position had been affected.

Rao said Survey of India would send an expedition to measure the mountain using two techniques: one team would climb the peak and use GPS to measure the height, while another team would use trigonometry to measure it from nearby locations.

Scientists say a satellite-based GPS calculation is a more accurate technique, but Rao said using different methods would help settle the issue once and for all.

No dates have been set yet for the 2017 expedition. Rao said the mapping agency would collaborate with the Nepal government.

The mountain is located on the international border of China and Nepal.

Everest was given the title of the world's tallest mountain in 1856 after surveys by various organisations including the Survey of India.

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