How is the Height of the Mountain Measured?

Most mountains are measure with altimeters, for more accurate readings, surveyors use transits and mathematics to measure elevation.

When we read of high mountains in books, we may wonder, how the height of a mountain is actually measured.  Most of our figures for mountain heights were obtained with an altimeter.

Kind of Barometer

This is a kind of barometer that uses air pressure to measure altitude, or height above sea level.  Altimeters give quick and easy readings.

For more accurate readings, surveyors use a special instrument called a transit, and mathematics.

By sighting a mountain peak through this transit, the surveyor finds the angle between an imaginary level line and the line of sight to the mountain peak.  By measuring the angles he can tell us how high the mountain is without actually climbing it.

Even with this method it is not easy to measure exactly how tall a mountain really is.

As far as anyone knows the very highest mountain on land is Mt. Everest in the Himalayas.  It is 29,028 feet above sea level – over 5 miles high. – Dick Rogers



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