Orthometric vs ellipsoidal height

The orthometric (geoid) height of a point of the Earth Surface is the distance Ho from the point to the geoid.

The ellipsoidal height of a point of the Earth Surface is the distance He from the point to the ellipsoid.

 

msl_geoid_ellipsoid_2.png Ho_He_2.png
Earth surface, ellipsoid and geoid      Orthometric height Ho and ellipsoidal height He

 

The geoid height above the ellipsoid (N) is the difference between the ellipsoidal height and orthometric (geoid) height.

N = He  Ho

Where:

N = geoid height above the ellipsoid
He = ellipsoidal height
Ho = orthometric (geoid) height 

 

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