# Tallest Mountains on Earth From Base to Peak

The tallest mountains from base to peak refers to the measurement of a mountain's height from its lowest point, which could be the ocean floor or a deep valley, to its highest point, the summit.

The concept of measuring the height of a mountain from base to peak presents a different perspective on what constitutes the "tallest" mountain. This method is more complex and subjective than measuring from sea level to summit because defining the "base" of a mountain can be challenging.

## What is a Mountain

Mountain is a large, natural elevation of the Earth's surface that rises abruptly from the surrounding land. It typically has steep sides and a limited summit area. Mountains are generally higher than hills, though there's no strict definition for the difference between the two.

The standard method for measuring mountains like Mount Everest is to measure their height above sea level. This method is straightforward and provides clear data points. However, some mountains are actually much taller when measured from their base, which could be deep underwater or on land, to their peak. When we measure a mountain from its base to its peak, we are considering the total vertical distance from the lowest point to the highest point. This can give us a more comprehensive understanding of the mountain's true size.

## The Problem with Measurement

The problem with measuring mountains from base to peak lies in several factors:

Ocean Floor Mapping: The exact depth of the ocean floor around many mountains is still unknown. This makes it difficult to accurately measure the total height of mountains that have their base underwater.

Defining the Base: Determining where a mountain's base truly begins can be subjective. Is it the foothills, the surrounding plain, or the ocean floor? This ambiguity makes it hard to establish a consistent measurement for all mountains.

Data Compilation: Gathering and comparing data for countless mountains worldwide is a massive undertaking. This requires extensive surveying and data collection, which is a challenge given the remote locations of many mountains.

Accessing Data: Comprehensive data on the exact elevation of mountain bases is often unavailable or inconsistent. This is due to the varying methods and technologies used for surveying and mapping different regions.

These factors make it difficult to create a definitive list ranking mountains by their total height from base to peak. However, despite these challenges, Mauna Kea in Hawaii is widely recognized as the tallest mountain when measured from its base on the ocean floor to its summit.

### The "Base" Problem

The concept of a "base" for a mountain is complex and can be problematic for several reasons:

Mountains Aren't Islands: Mountains are part of larger geological structures such as ranges or massifs. It can be challenging to determine where one mountain ends and another begins. This is particularly true for mountain ranges where the peaks and valleys blend into one another, making it difficult to identify a distinct base for each individual mountain.

Sea Level Isn't Constant: Sea level is often used as a reference point for measuring the height of mountains, but it's not a fixed value. It varies due to factors such as tides, ocean currents, and the Earth's shape. This variability can affect the accuracy of measurements.

Plateaus and Uplift: Many mountains are part of larger geological features such as plateaus or uplifts. For example, Mount Everest is part of the Tibetan Plateau. Determining the base of these mountains can be complex. Do you measure from the base of the plateau, which itself has been uplifted over millions of years, or from the point where the mountain rises from the plateau?

Ocean Floor Base: Some mountains rise directly from the ocean floor, giving them a significant head start when it comes to height. While much of this underwater portion is submerged, it still contributes to the total height of the mountain when measured from base to peak. This is one of the reasons why Mauna Kea in Hawaii is often considered the tallest mountain on Earth.

The Tallest mountains in the world from base to peak are:

## Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

• Total Height: Approximately 33,500 feet (10,210 meters)
• Above Sea Level: 13,796 feet (4,205 meters)
• Below Sea Level: About 19,700 feet (6,000 meters)

Mauna Kea is considered the tallest mountain on Earth when measured from its base on the ocean floor to its summit. The majority of the mountain is underwater. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano located on the island of Hawaii, and it's one of the tallest mountains in the world when measured from its base. It rises 33,500 feet (10,210 meters) from the ocean floor to its peak, but only 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) above sea level. Mauna Kea is an important site for astronomy, with several telescopes located at its summit. The name "Mauna Kea" means "white mountain" in Hawaiian, referring to its snow-capped peak during the winter months.

 Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

## Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA

• Total Height: About 30,085 feet (9,170 meters)
• Above Sea Level: 13,681 feet (4,170 meters)
• Below Sea Level: About 16,404 feet (5,000 meters)

Similar to Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa is also a massive volcano with most of its structure below sea level. It's the largest active volcano on Earth by volume. Although not as tall as Mauna Kea when measured from the ocean floor to the summit, it is still one of the tallest mountains on Earth when considering its full height from base to peak.

 Mauna Loa, Hawaii

## Mount Everest, Nepal/China

• Total Height: 29,032 feet (8,848.86 meters) above sea level
• Base-to-Peak Height: Approximately 12,000 to 15,000 feet (3,700 to 4,600 meters) depending on the starting point.

Mount Everest is indeed located in the Himalayas on the border between Nepal and China. It is the highest point on Earth when measured from sea level, with its peak reaching 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level.

However, when considering the full height from base to peak, Mount Everest's base-to-peak height is less than some other mountains like Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The difference lies in the fact that the base of Mauna Kea is underwater, while the base of Mount Everest is not.

 Mount Everest

## Denali (Mount McKinley), Alaska, USA

• Total Height: About 20,310 feet (6,190 meters)
• Above Sea Level: 20,310 feet (6,190 meters)

Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 meters) above sea level. The base of Denali is about 2,000 feet (610 meters) above sea level, making its base-to-peak rise one of the highest in the world.

The vertical rise from its base to its peak is over 18,000 feet (5,486 meters), which is greater than the vertical rise of Mount Everest from its base to its peak.

## Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

• Height: 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) from base to peak.

Mount Kilimanjaro is indeed the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising from the plains of Tanzania to its summit. Its peak is about 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) above sea level, and it rises from a base of roughly 5,000 feet (1,500 meters), totaling around 24,000 feet (7,315 meters) from base to peak.

Kilimanjaro's base-to-summit measurement is significant because it shows the massive elevation gain from the surrounding plains, highlighting its dominance over the landscape. This steep rise from the plains to its summit is a defining feature of Kilimanjaro, making it a unique and impressive mountain.

Furthermore, Kilimanjaro's status as the highest free-standing mountain in the world means it is not part of a mountain range. This sets it apart from other high mountains, which are often part of larger mountain systems. Its isolation and massive height make it a prominent and iconic feature of the African landscape.

 Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

## Mount Aconcagua, Argentina

• Total Height: 22,841 feet (6,961 meters) above sea level
• Base-to-Peak Height: Approximately 13,123 feet (4,000 meters) from the surrounding terrain in the Andes.

Mount Aconcagua, located in the Andes mountain range in Argentina, is the highest peak in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Aconcagua is part of the Andes mountain range and stands as the highest peak in South America. While its base-to-peak height is impressive, it is not as dramatic as mountains like Mauna Kea or Denali. Nonetheless, it is a major mountaineering destination due to its height and prominence.

 Mount Aconcagua, Argentina

## Mount Elbrus, Russia

• Total Height: About 18,510 feet (5,642 meters) above sea level
• Base-to-Peak Height: Roughly 15,554 feet (4,740 meters) when considering the surrounding terrain in the Caucasus region

Mount Elbrus, located in the western Caucasus mountain range in Russia, is the highest peak in Europe. While it is impressive in height above sea level, its base-to-peak height is less dramatic compared to some other mountains. Mount Elbrus is a dormant stratovolcano and has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes. The surrounding terrain is already quite elevated, so its base-to-peak prominence is not as extreme as mountains like Mauna Kea, but it still stands as the highest mountain in Europe.

 Mount Elbrus, Russia

## Why Base to Summit Measurement Matters

• True Size: Base-to-summit measurements reveal the true "size" of a mountain, not just how high its peak is above sea level. This is important for understanding the full scale of the mountain, especially for mountains that are partially or fully underwater.
• Geological Insights: These measurements can give us insights into the geological processes that formed these mountains. For example, large shield volcanoes like Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa have broad, gradual slopes that extend deep into the ocean.
• Perspective on Earth's Topography: Considering base-to-summit height shows how some mountains, especially volcanic islands, are truly gigantic structures that stretch far beyond what we can see above the water or land.

In Conclusion, There isn't a widely accepted, definitive list of the tallest mountains from base to peak due to the complexity of measurement and the limited data available.

The issue lies in defining a mountain's "base." Unlike measuring the height of a mountain from sea level, which is a straightforward calculation, measuring the height from base to peak involves determining where the base of the mountain begins. This can be challenging, as the base of a mountain can vary depending on the terrain and geological formations.

The ocean floor around many mountains is still not fully mapped, making it hard to get accurate measurements. This is particularly true for underwater mountains in the mid-oceanic ridges, which might qualify for the list of tallest mountains from base to peak.

Until there's a standardized way to define a mountain's base, the base-to-peak debate will continue, and a definitive list of the tallest mountains from base to peak will remain elusive.