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below sea level. These two points, both in California, EXTREME AND MEAN ALTITUDES OF U.S.
are only 86 miles apart. (See figs. 50, 51.) TERRITORY AND THE CONTINENTS
The following list (table 9) is given to permit a comThe following altitudes (table 8), which give the parison between altitudes in the United States and height of the land above sea level, unless otherwise those in other parts of the world. These figures are substated, were determined by the Geological Survey. ject to change as better maps become available. HowInasmuch as the United States is not entirely mapped, ever, the information on North America is accurate. the locations of the highest and lowest points, as well The altitude of Mount Everest was reported to the as the values given for some of the points, are doubtful National Geographic Society by Brigadier I. H. R. and are subject to change as the areas are mapped. Wilson, Surveyor General of India, as 29,028 feet. This
The highest point within the conterninous 48 States determination was made by the Survey of India from is Mount Whitney-14,494 feet above sea level. The observations and calculations in 1952–54. An accurate lowest point of dry land is in Death Valley—282 feet altitude for the summit of a mountain as high and as Highest and Lowest Points in the Conterminous United States, Both in California
and Only 86 Miles Apart
FIGURE 50 (above).—Mount Whitney, 14,494 feet above sea level. View is from
Owens Valley. (Photograph by Bruce Barnbaum, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Above, Badwater, the lowest area in the valley at 282 feet below sea level,
and Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range in the background. (Photograph by Josef Muench, Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Below, View across sand dunes toward the Armagosa Range. (Photograph
by Bruce Barnbaum, Los Angeles, Calif.)
13,143 Colorado River
6,288 Atlantic Ocean
250 5,700 1,000
5,729 Atlantic Ocean 1,556 ----do
Grayson-Smyth Crown Mountain
14,410 Pacific Ocean 4,862 Potomac River 1,952 Lake Michigan
--do 240 581 3
1,700 1,500 1,050
13,804 Belle Fourche River - Crook 20,320 Death Valley
3 Corps of Engineers.
* Mean sea level of the Pacific at Panama is 0.7 feet higher than mean sea level of the Atlantic at Colon.
20,320 Death Valley, Calif. (fig. 51). 282 2,000 22,834 Salinas Grandes, Peninsula 131 1,800
Valdez, Chubut Province,
Argentina. 18,481 Caspian Sea, U.S.S.R., and 92
980 Iran. 29,028 Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan 1,286 3,000
(fig. 53). 19,340 Qattara Depression, Egypt 436 1,900
7,316 Lake Eyre, South Australia.
Island of St.
1 See U.S. Geological Survey (1893, pt. 2, p. 284-289) for method of finding mean altitudes.
• Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Table 9.-Extremes of altitude in the continents
Mount McKinley, Alaska
Mount El'brus, U.S.S.R.,
Kibo Peak (Kilimanjaro),
New South Wales.
16,860 Sea level