A satellite using radar to scan Nepal in the wake of the disastrous earthquake that rocked the region found that much of the country was lifted, in some spots by a full 3 feet, while iconic Mount Everest is a tiny bit shorter than it used to be.

The European Space Agency's Sentinel-1a satellite, which can determine ground movement from images taken before and after the earthquake, provides evidence that an area of 75 miles by 30 miles near Kathmandu was displaced vertically by a full meter, resulting in severe damage to the city.

Meanwhile in the Himalayan Mountains, some peaks dropped - in the case of Mount Everest, about an inch.

The rises and drops can be determined by the satellite images that, when combined, create what's known as an interferogram with colored bands representing changes in elevations.

"There's a peak of slip just to the northeast of Kathmandu. Basically, what we do is count the colored 'fringes' in this interferogram and there are about 34, so that translates to more than a meter of uplift," explained geophysicist Tim Wright from the University of Leeds in Great Britain.

That would account for the catastrophic damage the city experienced, he says.

Further away, to the north of the capital city, the interferogram shows subsidence, or lowering, of the ground, as the earthquake's release of pent-up strain caused the ground in that region to relax.

Geologists say the quake occurred on a shallow thrust fault that was angled just 10 degrees from the surface, spreading damage over an area in excess of 5,600 square miles.

The fault did not break through to the surface, which could mean there is still built-up strain that has not yet been released, they say.

If suddenly released it could mean more earthquakes, or the strain could be release slowly in a phenomenon known as creep, they explain.

Researchers say further study will help them understand how the earthquake may have stressed other faults in the region on either side of the rupture zone.

As the inteferogram is refined over the coming days and weeks it should yield additional data on damage and landslides, they say.

"I think this will give us our clearest insight into the workings of the faults along the Himalayan front," says seismologist Stephen Hicks of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

The death toll from the earthquake on April 25 has gone above 6,000, with at least 11,000 people being injured. Rescuers are still searching through destroyed buildings for survivors as aid groups begin to reach the region. Donations may be made through a number of aid groups. Social media is trying to assist people checking on the whereabouts and safety of family and friends via Google's Person Finder Tool, which is offered in both Nepali and English, and Facebook activated its Safety Check tool, so people can respond with a brief "I'm safe" or "I'm not in the area" message.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.