From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Himalayan orogeny
Mains level : NA
China and Nepal are expected to announce the latest official height of Mt. Everest.
Try this PYQ:
Q.When you travel to the Himalayas, you will see the following:
- Deep gorges
- U-turn river courses
- Parallel mountain ranges
- Steep gradients causing land-sliding
Which of the above can be said to be the evidences for the Himalayas being young fold mountains?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Mount Everest or Sagarmatha, Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, is located in the Himalayas between China and Nepal -– the border between them running across its summit point.
- Its current official elevation – 8,848m – places it more than 200m above the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, which is 8,611m tall and located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
- The mountain gets its English name from Sir George Everest, a colonial-era geographer who served as the Surveyor General of India in the mid-19th century.
- Considered an elite climbing destination, Everest was first scaled in 1953 by the Indian-Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary.
Everest’s first survey
- The mission to measure the world’s highest peak was taken up on a serious note in 1847 and culminated with the finding of a team led by Andrew Waugh of the Royal Surveyor General of India.
- The team discovered that ‘Peak 15’ — as Mt Everest was referred to then — was the highest mountain, contrary to the then-prevailing belief that Mt Kanchenjunga (8,582 m) was the highest peak in the world.
- Another belief, prevailing even today, is that 8,840 m is not the height that was actually determined by the 19th-century team.
- That survey, based on trigonometric calculations, is known as the Great Trigonometric Survey of India.
Why is the height being measured again?
- Everest’s current official height– 8,848m– has been widely accepted since 1956, when the figure was measured by the Survey of India.
- The height of the summit, however, is known to change because of tectonic activity, such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
- Its measurement over the decades has also depended on who was surveying.
- Another debate is whether the height should be based on the highest rock point or the highest snow point.