The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface (see Geodetic system, vertical datum). Elevation, or geometric height, is mainly used when referring to points on the Earth's surface, while altitude or geopotential height is used for points above the surface, such as an aircraft in flight or a spacecraft in orbit, and depth is used for points below the surface.
Less commonly, elevation is measured using the center of the Earth as the reference point. Due to equatorial bulge, there is debate as to which of the summits of Mt. Everest or Chimborazo is at the higher elevation, as the Chimborazo summit is further from the Earth's center while the Mt. Everest summit is higher above mean sea level.
Famous quotes containing the word elevation:
“All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all. I am just like everybody else.”
—Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (18701924)
“It was not till the middle of the second dance, when, from some pauses in the movement wherein they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could distinguish an elevation of spirit different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity.In a word, I thought I beheld Religion mixing in the dance.”
—Laurence Sterne (17131768)
“The ability to secure an independent livelihood and honorable employ suited to her education and capacities is the only true foundation of the social elevation of woman, even in the very highest classes of society. While she continues to be educated only to be somebodys wife, and is left without any aim in life till that somebody either in love, or in pity, or in selfish regard at last grants her the opportunity, she can never be truly independent.”
—Catherine E. Beecher (18001878)