Tallest point on Earth
A mountain is an elevation in the earth's surface. The elevation, or altitude, of a mountain is given as the height of the summit above sea level. Mountains are much bigger than hills. Most of the time they are made up elongated ranges. It is rare when a mountain stands alone.
What is the difference between tallest and highest? Tallest: the top is the furthest away from the base. Highest: the top is the furthest away from sea level. There are three ways of measuring the height of a mountain. So which mountain is the tallest? One way to measure a mountain is by measuring from sea level. The second way is by measuring from base to peak. The third way is by measuring the distance from the center of the earth to the peak of the mountain.
Mt. Everest, on the Nepal-Tibet border in the Himalayas, is the highest mountain on earth. It is about 8, 850 meters above sea level. height was confirmed in December 1983 during a surveillance mission by the space shuttle Columbia. Mauna Kea, or "White Mountain"a volcano of the "Big Island" of Hawaii, is the tallest mountain on earth. It measure about 10, 200 meters from base to summit. Chimborazo is a volcano in the Andes of Ecuador. It measures about 6, 310 meters above sea level. When height is measured from the center of the earth, Chimborazo is tallest since it is located nearly on the equator, where the earth bulges the most.
The value above is now recognized as the most accurate measurement of the altitude of Mount Everest.
The island of Guam is a territory of the United States lying in the western Pacific. Guam is the southernmost island in the Mariana chain. These islands lie on a subduction zone — a region where one tectonic plate (the heavier Pacific plate) is driven under another (the lighter Philippine plate). Subduction results in an oceanic trench trench forming on one side and a mountain range forming on the other. The mountain range formed at the Mariana subduction zone is not that impressive. The second tallest peak is Mount Lamlam on the island of Guam at 406 m. (The tallest peak is Ogso Tagpochau on Saipan at 465 m.) The mountains may not be that impressive, but the trench certainly is. The Challenger Deep on the Mariana Trench is the deepest point on the earth — 10, 924 m below sea level. If we take the bottom of Challenger Deep as the base of Mount Lamlam it suddenly becomes the tallest mountain on earth.
Or so they say.
The Mariana Islands lie on a chain running from Farallon de Pajaros in the north to Guam in the south. The Mariana Trench lies to the east of the islands paralleling the chain until it reaches Guam where it makes a right angle turn and heads west. The Challenger Deep is about 400 km southwest of Guam on this perpendicular segment in a region known as the Southern Arc. Four hundred kilometers may not seem very far in oceanic terms, but lying in this gap are about a dozen underwater peaks adjacent to the Southern Arc. These submerged peaks are really the "mountains" lying next to the Challenger Deep.
We have a real problem now. If we measure Mount Lamlam from the deepest point in the Mariana Trench adjacent to Guam, it is no longer taller than Mauna Kea (although it's probably still taller than Mount Everest). And if we measure the highest of the underwater peaks adjacent to the Challenger Deep from its deepest point we still don't beat Mauna Kea.
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