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Mount Mitchell height?

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Mount Mitchell height?

Postby BobSmith » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:04 pm

Has the official elevation changed for Mount Mitchell? The new National Geodetic Survey data indicates the elevation of the East's highest summit to be 6,699 feet. 15 feet higher than the number generally listed for it.
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Re: Mount Mitchell height?

Postby Catamount » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:01 pm

Interesting. Do you have a link to the survey data? My immediate reaction was that height sounds just about dead on for the top of the observation tower taking the 6,684-foot elevation into account. I wonder if satellite data knows how to differentiate between the highest natural point and the highest man made point.

But numbers in the Northeast always get tweaked every time there is a new survey. After the big 1999 survey in New England, two new 4,000 foot peaks were born and the summit of another was relocated.
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Re: Mount Mitchell height?

Postby pjbarr » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:57 pm

Mt. Mitchell has actually lost a foot--probably due to the new observation tower construction (this makes sense--remember the NC Highway Commission BM atop the boulder on Mitchell's summit? it got blasted away for the new observation tower, being in the way of where the ramp begins on the present day tower.). LiDAR data in 2009 determined the summit to be 6683 ft., with an error range of only inches. LiDAR data (which is not satellite) can indeed differentiate between natural and manmade surfaces after the data is "scrubbed" by the analysts.

The datasheet does say 6699 for Mitchell #1, however, the datasheets also still list 6720 ft. as the elevation of the top of the former stone observation tower removed in 2006. We know that tower to be 35 feet tall. The math tells us that that datasheet (Mitchell #2) puts the ground summit at 6685, right near its known elevation.

The current datasheet for Mitchell #1 may reflect the elevation of top platform of the new observation tower, which is about 15 feet above the ground, if the mark was adjusted recently.
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Re: Mount Mitchell height?

Postby BobSmith » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:29 am

Here's a link from the ENTS site where it's been under discussion:

http://www.ents-bbs.org/download/file.p ... &mode=view
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Re: Mount Mitchell height?

Postby Catamount » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:29 am

What I continue to find intriguing as a layperson is that none of the data sheets show an elevation of 6,684 in any of the data that I am seeing. In the thread Bob alludes to, the earlier data sheets show elevations of 6,721 and 6,719.8. The newest one shows 6,699. Interestingly, the new tower is exactly 20 feet lower than the old tower and 15 feet higher than the 6,684 height officially given to Mitchell. The math of it all seems to suggest the data sheet height is the top of the platform but that is just my own interpretation of what I am seeing.

http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=235&t=4477
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