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Old 07-30-2000, 10:14 PM
KCB615 KCB615 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Southcoast Massachusetts
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This past weekend, I was standing on the summit of Mt Washington, looking at the benchmark bolted to the rock at the very top of New England. On this saucer-shaped piece of metal is inscribed (amongst other things) 6288.176 feet above sea level. Two questions popped into my mind when I saw this:

1) I know "sea level" is kind of an abstract concept, but how on earth do they measure to 1/1000 of a foot on top of this rock pile? I could just about keep my balance on the rocks surrounding the summit, let alone plop a transit down and take dead-on-accurate measurements. Are they sure its not 6288.178' high?

2) Where abouts on this benchmark is the actual 6288.176' measured to? The mark looks like a saucer with a raised nub in the center, with a dimple inside that nub. Is the level the outer edge of the saucer, the bottom of the nub, the top of the nub, or inside the dimple? If we're measuring to 0.012" accuracy, there must be a standard measuring point for these things. Also, with the scratches and gouges in the benchmark (its pretty badly beaten up), how would they take a measurement from it again?
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