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UK weighs 24,000,000 billion tonnes

india Updated: Feb 02, 2007 12:21 IST
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The UK weighs a massive 24,000,000 billion tonnes, and Oxford is the heaviest city, says a joint research by Austrian and English scientists.

And though it may sound odd, Scotland is actually lighter than England and Wales, despite the fact that the Scottish landscape is dotted with mountains, and the country boasts of the highest peak in the Isles.

For their study, researchers at the University of Technology in Vienna and at the University of Leeds calculated the weight based on the thickness of the earth's crust in a given area.

Findings revealed that Austria with its Alpine mountain ranges and rocky foundations was proportionately Europe's heaviest country. It weighed a whopping 9,400,000 billion tonnes, at 112 billion tonnes per kilometre, heavier per square kilometre than any other country in Europe.

Neighbouring Germany weighed only 28,000,000 billion tonnes, even though in terms of area it was four times as big, giving it a weight of just 78.4 billion tonnes per kilometre, which in essence made Britain heavier per square kilometre than Germany.

Professor Greg Houseman, from the University of Leeds, said England weighed in at 13,000,000 billion tonnes, making it 100 billion tonnes per kilometre, just above the UK average, which was 98 billion tonnes per kilometre.

“Of the UK, Scotland weighs the least per kilometre at 88,000 tonnes per kilometre, or a total of 6,600,000 billion tons. Wales is 2,000,000 billion tons or 98,000 tonnes per kilometre. In Scotland the earth's crust is in some places only 24 kilometres thick, and at its thickest 35 kilometres. The thinnest place is Northern Scotland. In England, in contrast, some parts are up to 50 kilometres thick,” Ananova quoted Prof Houseman as saying.

 "The heaviest part of the UK is Oxford, where the earth's crust is particularly thick and ground weighs 140,000 tonnes per kilometre. On the other hand the lightest is Cornwall, where land weighs just 78,000 tonnes per kilometre," he said.

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