Sierra Nevada Mountains Rose One Inch During Four Year California Drought

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Sierra Nevada Mountains Rose One Inch: Sierra Nevada mountains rose an inch during the 2011-2015 drought in California. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the recent California drought was definitely bad for numerous lawns and farms in the Golden State, it apparently resulted in the iconic Sierra Nevada mountain range growing close to an inch. Sierra Nevada also lost close to 11 cubic miles of water during a four-year period from 2011 to 2015.

According to the reports, JPL researchers monitored the mountain range with about 1,300 GPS stations, hoping to determine how its elevation changed in a four-year period from October 2011 to October 2015. Based on the differences in height, the mountains lost about 10.8 cubic miles of water in those four years, or just about enough water to support Los Angeles for 45 years.

Sierra Nevada Rose One Inch During California Drought:

The research found that loss of water from the rocks of the mountain range resulted in this natural phenomenon. The mountain, however, regained about half an inch (12 millimeters) of its height when it received half the quantity of water in the rock through snow and rainfall. It was found that the Earth’s surface would lower itself with a larger volume of water and rebound with the loss of water.

JPL water scientist Jay Famiglietti, who collaborated on the research, said the finding solves a mystery for hydrologists. “One of the major unknowns in mountain hydrology is what happens below the soil. How much snowmelt percolates through fractured rock straight downward into the core of the mountain? This is one of the key topics that we addressed in our study.”

A paper on the research, titled “Sustained water loss in California’s mountain ranges during severe drought from 2012 through 2015 inferred from GPS,” was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

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