Toward an improved orthometric height system for Canada

Robert Kingdon, Petr Vaníček, Marcelo Santos, Artu Ellmann, Robert Tenzer

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Heights in Canada are defined in the system of orthometric heights, according to a method proposed by Helmert in 1890. However, much development in the theory of heights has been done since then, leading to a more rigorous definition of orthometric heights. The new definition takes into account the effects of terrain roughness, laterally varying anomalous topographical density, and the NT geoid-generated gravity disturbance, which are not considered in the Helmert method. This paper presents a calculation of corrections to Helmert orthometric heights, to update them to the more rigorous definition. The corrections for each effect, as well as a total correction comprising all three effects, are evaluated for a Canadian test area which includes several types of terrain. The correction is found to reach decimetres in some mountainous areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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