Analysis

Nepal close to complete measuring height of Mt. Qomolangma

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A Nepali technical team has reached close to Mt. Qomolangma measuring the tallest mountain in the world from the Nepal-India border as the Himalayan country is making its first such effort, the Department of Survey (DoS) said.

The DoS said it is measuring the height of the mountaiin after a massive earthquake hit Nepal in 2015. Although expeditions from different countries measured the altitude of Mt. Qomolangma producing diverse results, Nepal was not the part of those expeditions.

The DoS had started measuring the height of Mt Qomolangma since February. According to the DoS, it has completed measurement in 170 km distance from Madar in Siraha district which borders India to the southern edge of Sulukhubu district where the Mt. Qomolangma located.

“We completed the work of precise leveling in 170-km-long distance from Madar to Solukhumbu,” Sushil Dangol, coordinator at Everest Height Measurement Secretariat under the DoS, told Xinhua on Wednesday. “Now, we have to work on 78-km-long distance to complete the work.”

According to the DoS, the team is installing temporary benchmarks in every 200 meters and permanent benchmarks in every 2 km so that there would be no mistake during the measurement. The measurement has been completed to the height around 2,800 meters from the sea levels, according to DoS officials.

After taking break for around three months due to rainy season since July, the DoS on Wednesday mobilized the 27-member team for two separate works continue precise leveling in Solukhumbu district and the gravity observation works in few locations of seven districts around Mt. Qomolangma.

“The work of precise leveling will be performed upto to the height around 4,000 meters from the sea level,” Bibek Nepal, engineer at the Everest Height Measurement Secretariat told Xinhua. “Another metholodgy–trignometrical levelling will be performed above the areas from 4,000 meters because human and equipments cannot be taken there for the precise leveling easily.”

The DoS has targeted to complete the measurment and produce result by the end of 2019.

Earlier, it had organized an workshop inviting experts from around the world to finetune the methodologies of measurements in December 2017.

The DoS has planned to measure both rock height and height with snow. It has however planned to involve foreign expert during the data processing to ensure international recognition for the measured height.

Nepal has so far recognized 8,848 metres as altitude of the mountain as measured by Survey of India in 1954. China which had first measured the height of the mountain in 1975 reassessed the summit in 2005 measuring the height peak’s rock base 8,844.43 meters covered by 3.5 meters snow.

In 1999, the U.S. National Geographic Society and Boston’s Museum of Science measured height of the peak at 8,850 including snow.

Originally published on Xinhua on 25 October 2018

Published on Lokantar on 26 October 2018

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