What is mean sea level

Sea level

Here in Amsterdam the sea level is measured. The Dutch call the zero point "Normaal Amsterdams Peil."
This sign on the Gotthard Pass shows: The pass is located at 2091 meters above sea level. Below is the English measure in feet.

The sea level is the surface of the sea. When sea levels rise, land on the coast can be flooded. When the sea level drops, the sea floor comes into the air.

The current sea level is measured at a certain point in time, for example during ebb or flow. The mean sea level is in between: In the long run, this is the normal, average altitude.

Many people find it important to know how high a city, lake or mountain is above sea level. This number is printed on many cards. So you can compare the heights with each other. This is particularly important for hikers and climbers, for example.

In general, the sea level is rising on Earth. This has been the case since 1880. This rise in sea level is due to climate change. It is slowly getting warmer on earth. That is why ice is melting in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. This releases water and causes the sea level to rise.

What happens when you measure the sea level very accurately?

Very precise measurements show that the sea level is not the same everywhere. One of the reasons for this is that the force of gravity is not exactly the same in all parts of the globe. When scientists talk about sea level, they have to know which one they mean, i.e. where it is measured.

Some countries, including Germany, look to the Dutch city of Amsterdam: “Normal Zero” is measured there. In Belgium you also have such a point on the coast. This sea level is more than 2 meters lower than in Amsterdam. In the German Democratic Republic, the status of a coastal city in the Soviet Union was used: the Kronstadt gauge. This sea level is also lower than the normal zero from Amsterdam.


There are also other search results for “Sea level” from Blind Cow and Ask Finn.

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