The North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) is the vertical datum for orthometric heights established for vertical control surveying in the United States of America based upon the General Adjustment of the North American Datum of 1988.
It superseded the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29),previously known as the Sea Level Datum of 1929.
NAVD 88, along with North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83), is set to be replaced with a new GPS- and gravimetric geoid model-based geometric reference frame and geopotential datum in 2022.
NAVD 88 was established in 1991 by the minimum-constraint adjustment of geodetic leveling observations in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It held fixed the height of the primary tide gauge benchmark (surveying), referenced to the International Great Lakes Datum of 1985 local mean sea level (MSL) height value, at Rimouski, Quebec, Canada. Additional tidal bench mark elevations were not used due to the demonstrated variations in sea surface topography, i.e., that MSL is not the same equipotential surface at all tidal bench marks.
North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) consists of a leveling network on the North American Continent, ranging from Alaska, through Canada, across the United States, affixed to a single origin point on the continent.
In 1993 NAVD 88 was affirmed as the official vertical datum in the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) for the Conterminous United States and Alaska (see Federal Register Notice (FRN)). Although many papers on NAVD 88 exist, no single document serves as the official defining document for that datum.Detailed information about NAVD 88 is available here.
The definition of NAVD 88 uses the Helmert orthometric height, which calculates the location of the geoid (which approximates MSL) from modeled local gravity.[ citation needed ] The NAVD 88 model is based on then-available measurements, and remains fixed despite later improved geoid models.[ citation needed ]
Since NGVD 29 used a simple model of gravity based on latitude to calculate the geoid and did not take into account other variations,[ citation needed ] elevation difference between points in a local area in it and NAVD 88 will show negligible change from one datum to the other, even though the elevation of both does change between datums.[ citation needed ]
To improve the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), the National Geodetic Service will replace the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) with a new geometric reference frame and geopotential datum in 2022.
The new reference frames will rely primarily on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as on a gravimetric geoid model resulting from NOAA's Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) Project.
These new reference frames are intended to be easier to access, and maintain, than NAD 83 and NAVD 88, which rely on physical survey marks that deteriorate over time.
Geodesy is the Earth science of accurately measuring and understanding Earth's geometric shape, orientation in space and gravitational field. The field also incorporates studies of how these properties change over time and equivalent measurements for other planets. Geodynamical phenomena include crustal motion, tides and polar motion, which can be studied by designing global and national control networks, applying space and terrestrial techniques and relying on datums and coordinate systems.
Mean sea level (MSL) is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which heights such as elevation may be measured. The global MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is instead the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.
Physical geodesy is the study of the physical properties of the gravity field of the Earth, the geopotential, with a view to their application in geodesy.
The World Geodetic System (WGS) is a standard for use in cartography, geodesy, and satellite navigation including GPS. This standard includes the definition of the coordinate system's fundamental and derived constants, the ellipsoidal (normal) Earth Gravitational Model (EGM), a description of the associated World Magnetic Model (WMM), and a current list of local datum transformations.
A geodetic datum or geodetic system is a global datum reference or reference frame for precisely measuring locations on Earth or other planetary body. Datums are crucial to any technology or technique based on spatial location, including geodesy, navigation, surveying, geographic information systems, remote sensing, and cartography. A Horizontal datum is used to measure a location across the Earth's surface, in latitude and longitude or another coordinate system; a vertical datum is used to measure the elevation or depth relative to a standard origin, such as mean sea level (MSL). Since the rise of the global positioning system (GPS), the ellipsoid and datum WGS 84 it uses has supplanted most others in many applications. The WGS 84 is intended for global use, unlike most earlier datums.
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above or below a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface . The term elevation is mainly used when referring to points on the Earth's surface, while altitude or geopotential height is used for points above the surface, such as an aircraft in flight or a spacecraft in orbit, and depth is used for points below the surface.
The orthometric height is the vertical distance H along the plumb line from a point of interest to a reference surface known as the geoid, the vertical datum that approximates mean sea level. Orthometric height is one of the scientific formalizations of a laypersons' "height above sea level", along with other types of heights in Geodesy.
Mikhail Sergeevich Molodenskii was a famous Soviet physical geodesist. He was once said to be "probably the only geodesist who would have deserved a Nobel prize"
The North American Datum (NAD) is the horizontal datum now used to define the geodetic network in North America. A datum is a formal description of the shape of the Earth along with an "anchor" point for the coordinate system. In surveying, cartography, and land-use planning, two North American Datums are in use for making lateral or "horizontal" measurements: the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD 27) and the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83). Both are geodetic reference systems based on slightly different assumptions and measurements.
The National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 is the official name since 1973 of the vertical datum established for vertical control surveying in the United States of America by the General Adjustment of 1929. Originally known as Sea Level Datum of 1929, NGVD 29 was determined and published by the National Geodetic Survey and used to measure the elevation of a point above and depression below mean sea level (MSL).
A vertical datum, altimetric datum, or height datum is a reference surface for vertical positions, such as the elevations of Earth features including terrain, bathymetry, water level, and man-made structures. Commonly adopted criteria for a vertical datum include the following approaches:
Regional Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe (EUREF) is the sub-commission of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), part of the Sub-Commission 1.3, under IAG Commission 1 . EUREF deals with the definition, realization and maintenance of the European Geodetic Reference Frame. The goal of EUREF is to establish a unified geodetic datum (ETRS89) and a consistent network of reference stations (EPN) throughout Europe. EUREF was founded in 1987 at the IUGG General Assembly held in Vancouver.
Dynamic height is a way of specifying the vertical position of a point above a vertical datum, as opposed to orthometric height or normal height. It can be computed dividing the location's geopotential number by the normal gravity at 45 degree latitude.
VERTCON is a computer program that computes the modeled difference in orthometric height between the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 and the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 for a location in the contiguous United States. The parameters required are the latitude and longitude of the location.
Vertical position or vertical location is a position along a vertical direction above or below a given vertical datum. Vertical distance or vertical separation is the distance between two vertical positions. Many vertical coordinates exist for expressing vertical position: depth, height, altitude, elevation, etc.
The Datum of 2022 is a placeholder name for a new geodetic datum set to be produced by the U.S. National Geodetic Survey in 2024-2025 to improve the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) by replacing the North American Datum of 1983 and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 with a new geometric reference frame and geopotential datum.