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Thread: MacNaughton/McNaugton Official/Unoffical ELEV Observations

  1. #1
    Senior Member dom15931's Avatar
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    Lightbulb MacNaughton/McNaugton Official/Unoffical ELEV Observations

    Hi all.

    My question is simple, but two-fold: What is the currently accepted official elevation of the peak and what is the best method by which anyone knows of an unofficial elevation calculation? Unofficial would be methods by which elevation was calculated by GPS, for example, and the level of accuracy. (WASS, DGPS, RTK, VRS/RTK)

    Thanks,

    Dom

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    I think the problem as explained to me a while back is that the latest survey available (at the time) was in metric. So there was no 4,000' contour line to refer to (or not). Given that, interpolation was used to estimate the height as ~ 4,000'.
    Tom Rankin
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  3. #3
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    On the 1952 Santanoni 15' quadrangle, MacNaughton's elevation is just a highest contour elevation. The 1978 Ampersand Lake metric 7.5' by 15' sheet shows an elevation of 1214 meters or 3,983 feet. That elevation is in black, which is supposed to indicate a "checked" elevation. Having worked as a field assistant on that survey, I know that no surveyor actually visited the summit of MacNaughton (or many of the other peaks for that matter). So in reality the 1,214 meter figure has just been interpolated from the aerial photos. I don't know whether there were any significant improvements in photogrammetry technology between 1952 and 1978 that allowed a more accurate interpolation of height.

    When I was working on the 2004 edition of ADK's High Peaks Guide, I looked at the metric elevations for those peaks on the "100 Highest" list to see if any changes were warranted. I even contacted the USGS to see if they had an explanation for all the points that suddenly had "checked" elevations even though I knew no surveyor had actually been to those points. While I believe my contact did try to research an answer to my question, the contact could not explain how those elevations could now be shown as "checked". I have also occasionally communicated with the USGS surveyor I worked under, and he indicated that as time went on the USGS sacrificed accuracy for speed. Thus, for the reasons above I left the 100 Highest list unchanged. Additionally, the 20-foot contouring on the older maps is more precise than the 10-meter contours on the metric maps - at least in areas like the High Peaks with steep terrain.

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    Senior Member dom15931's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I too am trying to get the bottom of it...maybe a survey of the summit.

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