Aoraki/Mt Cook loses 30m

Researchers revise height

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 10:57 16/01/2014
mt cook
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SCALED DOWN: University of Otago researchers have revised the height of Aoraki Mt Cook.

aoraki mt cook
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CRUMBLED: In 1991 a massive slip changed the height of Mt Cook.

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Aoraki/Mt Cook might still be the tallest peak in the country, but it is now officially 30 metres shorter than thought.

The peak is currently officially listed as 3754m above sea level, but new measurements by Otago University researchers revealed it is actually 3724m at its highest point.

In 1991 there was a massive rock-ice collapse at the summit.

Otago National School of Surveying researcher Dr Pascal Sirguey said the discrepancy between the old height and the new height can be explained by a two-decade long reshaping process following the collapse, affecting the remnant of the originally thick ice cap.

''By carefully studying photos taken after the collapse, it appears that there was still a relatively thick ice cap, which was most likely out of balance with the new shape of the summit ridge.

"As a result, the ice cap has been subject to erosion over the past 20 years."

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- The Timaru Herald

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