California Drought Caused Sierra Nevada to Rise
Tourists, skiers, naturalists and campers have enjoyed the serene beauty of the range for almost a century now.
Now, scientists are revealing that sometimes even small environmental changes that we as humans might take as a mild annoyance can actually have a minute effect on these mountain ranges as well.
According to a recent report, California’s historic drought has caused a loss of water from the rocks on the mountains, and the range is now about one inch higher in height.
The NASA study showed that the "growth" occurred between 2011 and 2015.
But wait, there’s more news for the aspiring hydrologist in your family.
2016 and 2017 saw an increase in the snow and rain in the state, and that led to the rocks within the range regaining about a half an inch.
In this case, the one question they are attempting to answer is what happens below the soil.
Does the rainfall permeate the soil in the timber line of the mountain and extend downward?
These are all mysteries that hydrologists would like to solve.
The team arrived at this conclusion simply by relying on data from 1,300 GPS stations that were placed at various locations throughout the mountain range from 2006 through 2017.