Washington: Scotland’s Loch Ness moves back and forth depending on movement of the land it rests upon, a new study has revealed.
When the tide comes in on the North Sea, 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the east of Loch Ness, the increased pressure on the seafloor deforms the Earth, a process called ocean tidal loading, Discovery News reported.
And though the moon controls the tides of the North Sea, and affects the loch too, the wobbly movement of the land from the pressure of the changing tides is what actually determines the loch’s levels.
Researchers at the National Oceanography Center in the UK and the University of Porto, Portugal asserted that depth of the loch changed by 1.5 millimeters (0.06 inches) at its different ends depending on whether the North Sea tide was in or not.
Researchers used pressure sensors distributed throughout Loch Ness to calculate depth changes to the incredible accuracy of 0.1 mm (0.004 in) over the 35 km (22 mi) length.
“Our tilt accuracy of better than 10-8, measured over 35 km, demonstrates Loch Ness as one the world's longest and most accurate tiltmeters,” the researchers said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
First Published: Monday, January 02, 2012, 15:04