An international team of scientists has shed new light on the earthquake that devastated Nepal in April 2015, killing more than 8,000 people.
A recent study shows that a kink in the regional fault line below Nepal explains why the highest mountains in the Himalayas are seen to grow between earthquakes. This kink has created a ramp 20km below the surface, with material constantly being pushed up and raising the height of the mountains.
The researchers led by Dr John Elliott demonstrate that the rupture on the fault stopped 11km below Kathmandu. This indicates that another major earthquake could take place within a shorter timeframe than the centuries that might be expected for the area.
Dr. Elliot further said that using the latest satellite technology, they were able to precisely measure the land height changes across the entire eastern half of Nepal; the highest peaks dropped by up to 60cm in the first seconds of the earthquake.
Mount Everest, at more than 50km east of the earthquake zone, was too far away to be affected by the subsidence seen in this event.
The study has been published in Nature Geoscience.