The mountains seemed to have a ‘life’ that can grow taller, with a variety of environmental factors that influence it.
Increasing altitude is known from studies showing an annual increase in elevation between 1 to 2 millimeters, along the 400-mile range between Nevada and California. Sierra Nevada range itself is growing at about half an inch every 10 years.
Cathedral Rocks, the highest peak in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Sierra Nevada mountain range known to have added the height of 0.5 inches per 10 years. (Photo: Guardian)
Scientists who conducted the study of geodesy lab Reno, University of Glasgow, UK. The study used a combination of GPS data and space-based radar, which generates the data and the accuracy of the new condition that has never happened before.
“The interesting thing is that we can witness a variety of mountain growth in real time,” said Bill Hammond, lead investigator of the multi-year project at the University of Nevada, told the Guardian on Monday (7/5).
Data prior to 2000 we can see a better accuracy, which have additional height of 1 millimeter per year. Perhaps this change is very small as measured by using a satellite in space.
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA, along with the Natural Environment Research Council in England.
Hammond said the findings will be published in July in the journal Geology, and can help resolve the current debate about the age of modern Sierra in California and Nevada.
Sierra Nevada extends from 10,000 feet to the north around Lake Tahoe to the highest peak in the Americas 400 km south of Mount Whitney around 14 500 feet.
“Combined with a GPS station, and more radar data, to detect movement within the earth becomes more precise. We can see a steady and constant movement of the Sierra, in addition to episodic events such as earthquakes,” said Hammond.
He said the elevation of the Sierra is a complex history and the appointment process “that is quite unique on Earth”. This show features of both the ancient elevation, which is as old as 40 million years, and the elevation is relatively young for a period of less than 3 million years ago.
“Our data suggest that the appointment is active and can be produced in the entire range in less than 3 million years younger than the estimate based on some other techniques. This means that the new appointment process is still ongoing,” he concluded.