Senior Member
Hi everyone,
Does the meaning of "altitude" include the meaning of "above the sea level". Should I omit one of the two?
Thanks for your advice!
"Owing to its altitude 350 m above see level, the summers in Sofia are moderately hot. The average temperatures in June vary from 19°C-25°C in the city."
  • Loopin

    English - South Africa
    Yep, altitude is the level of a given point from sea level. So it's either "altitude of 350m" or "350m above sea level".


    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the given context "...350m above sea level" is the conventional phrase.

    "Altitude" by convention means "above sea level" so you can omit one provided that you then construct the sentence appropriately.

    I think you can tidy it up somewhat. Maybe "Being at an altitude of 350m, Sofia is only moderately hot in summer.......".


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Altitude is the term used by fliers. When I used to climb we used "elevation" (although altitude would have been understood).

    We would say, "We stood at an elevation of 19,300 feet." The "above sea level would normally be "understood", but could be added with no problem.

    The only time the "sea level" was required was when we described a change in elevation.

    Base camp was at 15,300 feet; we had to climb 4,000 feet of elevation that day to 19,300 feet above sea level.

    I think you only have to add "above sea level" if you suspect there might be some confusion if it is left off.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Aviation charts and regulations refer to altitude as either MSL (mean sea level) or AGL (above ground level) to avoid confusion. See HERE.

    Airways, for example, are specified above sea level since it makes to sense to refer to ground level. A traffic pattern around an airport, for example. would refer to above ground level.

    As Packard suggest, I would use "elevation" with respect to fixed points on the ground. The exception is where you might be talking about a mountain where the actual rise is much less than the elevation above the ground because of the elevation of the surrounding plateau. See about Mount McKinley, for example.

    With respect to the city of Sofia, I don't think anybody would think it was 350 meters above ground level (no matter how heavenly the ambiance)
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