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'Quake changed Earth's shape'

The devastating earthquake has shifted Earth's North Pole by about 2.5 cm, says NASA.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Houston
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2005 03:30 AM IST

The devastating earthquake off the coast of Indonesia that spawned huge tidal waves in the Indian Ocean region, killing over a lakh people, has slightly changed our planet's shape, shaved almost 3 microseconds from the length of the day, and shifted the North Pole by centimetres, according to NASA scientists.

"Although all earthquakes leave an impact, the devastating megathrust earthquake registered nine on the new "moment" scale (modified Richter scale), making it the fourth largest 'quake in one hundred years," Dr Benjamin Fong Chao of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Dr Richard Gross of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said.

Chao and Gross routinely calculate earthquakes' effects on Earth's shape and rotation. They also study changes in polar motion, which shows the shifting of the North Pole.

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