A new survey of Mt. Everest indicates that the Nepal government may need to revise the official height of the world's highest mountain, the local media reported on Thursday.
Preliminary results of an ongoing survey, obtained by THT Online, show the new height of Mt. Everest to be approximately 8,848.9 m in the World Height System, which is 90 cm more than the current official value of Nepal. The margin of error is about 10 cm. The final results of the survey, being jointly undertaken by the National Space Institute (DTU) of Denmark and the Department of Survey, Nepal, are yet to be calculated.
The geoid of Nepal was measured through an airborne gravity survey in December last year.
According to the report, earlier, a survey team of China in 2005 had put the snow height at 8,847.93 m whereas a National Geographic Society survey of 1999 had pegged its height at 8,850 m. Scientists used Global Positioning System satellite equipment carried to the summit on May 5 of that year to calculate the height. The Himalayas are the most rugged gravity field on the planet, and one of the goals of the 2010 airborne survey was to find a revised height of Mt. Everest, said researchers. The Nepal government is, however, trying to measure the height of the world's highest mountain on its own. The government entered into an agreement with DTU in 2009. Scientists think Mt. Everest is growing taller by about 4 mm every year due to uplift caused by the Indian tectonic plate pushing northward into Asia.