MSU Bozeman Researchers Investigate Nepal Mountains
Structural geologist Mary Hubbard of Montana State University was invited to co-lead a team of geologists to Mount Everest in Nepal this spring. The expedition collected data in five fields - biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology and mapping. The clash of tectonic plates has forced the mountains to extreme heights, but study is needed on the general makeup of the landscape and how it has changed through the years. National Geographic, who helped sponsor the "Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition" called it "the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history." Rolex also sponsored the study.
Hubbard, in an MSU news release, said climate change was a main reason for the study. She said, "Because climate impacts so many things, if you only look at plants or only look at insects, you're going to miss other things in the record, in the lakes, in the ice." MSU doctoral student Bibek Giri and six students from Kathmandu were also on the team. Two teams included a total of 30 researchers. Hubbard's team traveled to the base of Mount Everest, where they collected sediment samples from high mountain lakes to study annual changes. They also sampled sand layers, glacial moraines, along with drone mapping of the area. During the trip, they noted fault zones, bedrock and landslides. The team spent one night at Everest Base Camp. The samples collected will be shared between MSU and Tri Chandra campus in Kathmandu.