Monday, May 10, 2010

How Fast Did the Andes Mountain Range Rise?

Being the largest mountain range in the world, excluding Asia, towering the country of Chile, the Andes are 13,000 feet above sea level. But how did they become this high? Apparently there has been a misleading theory, dealing with oxyegen-18 and oxygen-16. When a cloud goes up and over a mountain they oxygen-18's are supposed to make it precipitate, but the oxygen-16's usually cancel that out. This is how scientist track and research the growth of the mountain. They can do this because of the increasing or decreasing rainfall each year, and if they track that for a number of years, they can see how much it grows a year.

This was a very confusing article, I still am banking on the fact if there is an increased amount of rainfall that the mountain has grown. But I could be wrong, and it could be the other way around. I'm almost positive that there's an easier way to calculate the annual growth of a mountain range, but then again, I didn't go to college for a number of years and major in this. Although this is a very intricate way of doing this, it is quite neat. Like I said earlier, I don't quite understand it, but I'm pretty certain I get the gist of things. What scientists can do with rainfall is amazing, they can track all kinds of things.

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