# Does Everest have a topographic isolation?

Here are three definitions of "topographic isolation".

Wikipedia

The topographic isolation of a summit is the minimum distance to a point of equal elevation, representing a radius of dominance in which the peak is the highest point.

wikidata.org

minimum distance to a point of higher elevation

gis.com

The topographic isolation of a summit is the minimum horizontal (great circle) distance to the nearest point of higher elevation.

The gis.com site has a table of "The 25 Most Topographically Isolated Mountain Peaks on Earth". At the top of this table is Mount Everest with an isolation of 40, 008 km. I looked up that 40, 008 km is about the circumference of the Earth.

But I am not sure this choice agrees with either of the definitions above because one of the criterion of the definition is not satisfied: there is no other point with equal (or higher) elevation for Everest (or at least the highest point of it anyway).

Then again, I did grab rather informal definitions from some wiki pages, so perhaps there are other definitions for more technical work that resolve this apparent contradiction.

Miscellaneous afterthought: we should grant that we are talking about distances on a surface between peaks. There are taller mountains than Everest (e.g. Olympus Mons, but we are not considering the time-varying distance between planets in this question.

• It's just semantics really. I would choose to put infinite or undefined (as I did in a Sporcle quiz of the same concept except about city populations). Because there is no definable minimum distance... it's certainly not 0, it's not the circumference of the Earth (though that is the max distance you can try to go, so I get their reasoning). But either way, Everest is the most isolated peak on Earth... because there's nothing greater, whatever value you choose to identify it. Aug 21, 2022 at 16:31
• Elevation measred from sea level, or the center of the Earth? If the latter, then Chimborazo in Ecuador is higher. Sep 20, 2022 at 23:40
• @Spencer You can infer which using contraposition, but certainly a distinction worth considering. Sep 21, 2022 at 0:16