A significant correction must be made by the end of the year for navigation technology to keep working smoothly.
By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic
Australia is not quite where you think it is. The continent has shifted by 4.9 feet since the last adjustment was made to GPS coordinates in 1994, reports the New York Times.
All of the Earth’s continents float on tectonic plates, which glide slowly over a plastic-like layer of the upper mantle. And the plate that Australia sits on has been moving relatively fast, about 2.7 inches a year (northward and with a slight clockwise rotation).
Australia has tended to move particularly fast due to its unique geology. Corrections have been made to its latitude and longitude four times over the past 50 years, the Times reports. The last adjustment there, in 1994, was about 656 feet.
The next adjustment is said to be due by the end of this year, on the order of 4.9 feet.
Read the full story here – National Geographic – Australia is on the move