According to a New Scientific Report, the Aconcagua is Higher

Universidad Nacional de Cuyo - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras

March 25, 2013 | 4 ′ 54 ′′


According to a New Scientific Report, the Aconcagua is Higher


A team formed by scientists from diverse academic national and foreign institutions concluded that America’s Colossus is 6,960.8 meters high above sea level. Before carrying out these measurements, the only antecedent registered was an investigation carried out by the University of Buenos Aires which dates from 1956. The results which revealed the height are the product of two years of GPS and gravity measurements.

The Aconcagua, which is located in the province of Mendoza, is the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas system and the second with the greatest relative height after Mount Everest. The origin of the term “Aconcagua” is uncertain, different origins are postulated, all of them from native languages which make reference to its impressive aspect. Scientists from diverse academic national and foreign institutions showed the results of their complex investigations about the mountain in an event occurred in the University. The most expected data was: America’s Colossus is 6,960.8 meters height above sea level.

In the ceremony, led by the President of the National University of Cuyo, Arturo Somoza, the technical presentation was in charge of the director of the Program SIGMA (System of Geodynamic Investigation of Mount Aconcagua), Luis Lenzano, and of the responsible for the measurements and future director of the National Geographic Institute (in Spanish IGN), Sergio Címbaro.

The measurement

Sergio Címbaro explained why it was necessary to take a new measure of Marica’s Colossus. The only antecedent was research carried out by the University of Buenos Aires in 1956, which gave as a result a height of 6,959.6 meters. After 56 years and taking into account the progress made by scientific research, it was necessary to measure it again applying the new scientific instruments.

In this sense, the scientists warned that “The data is not comparable now; we cannot say that the mountain’s height increased or decreased” between the two measurements, precisely by the different research methodologies used. However, he highlighted that between the result obtained now, which is 6,960.8 meters and the previous one, “the difference is barely of 1.20 meters”.

The director of the SIGMA remarked the participation of the UNCuyo, the National University of Rosario, the Institute of Earth’s Sciences Mendoza, the IGN and the American Universities of Memphis, Hawaii and Ohio. Together with that contribution, he put the emphasis in the financial contribution which supports the activities of the National Agency of Science and Technique, the Conicet, the UNCuyo and the National Sciences Foundation of the United States.

Regarding financing, he remarked that it is a clear sign of “the institutions’ trust in the activities developed and especially in the results obtained”. Regarding this, he highlighted: “We do not understand science and technique without results”.

Lenzano exposed in a quick enumeration the numerous investigations of diverse characteristics carried out in key sites selected around the Aconcagua, using instruments and last generation technologies with the aim of determining in a certain way the behavior of glaciers.

These investigations, he pointed out, form part of an international study program of the Central Andes which, through 2,700 points and 100 stations, has as an objective “to measure the variations registered by the Earth’s crust”. In that frame, he located “two years of GPS and gravity measures” to determine “the Aconcagua’s height”.

About the knowledge and last generation instruments, Címbaro made a detailed explanation. And, in this aspect, he highlighted the contributions carried out by the National Universities of Cuyo, Rosario and San Juan, the direction of renewable natural Resources of Mendoza, the Institute of Environment Studies and Natural Resources (IDEARN), Philosophy and Letters, Argentinean Institute of Nivology and Glaciology (IANIGLA) of the Conicet and the National Geographical Institute.

The institutions

The president of the UNCuyo, Arturo Somoza, defined the Aconcagua as “a sign of Mendoza and Argentina, with a great international projection” and as “popular and scientific focus of attention”, so we “have to take advantage and install studies near it”.

After remembering that he was the holder of the Direction of Renewable Natural Resources of Mendoza, Somoza expressed his “conviction that the new knowledge acquired through the program SIGMA will result in a better life quality in Mendoza”, for being referred to so important topics as “water and seismic problems”.

Prensa UNCuyo
loliva@uncu.edu.ar.
Equipo de Prensa UNCuyo
Área de Divulgación científica


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