Metres above the Adriatic

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Map of the various vertical reference areas in Europe.
  • Countries using the Adriatic datum

Metres above the Adriatic (Italian: Metri sopra l'Adriatico, German: Meter über Adria, Croatian: Metara iznad Jadrana) is the mean sea level datum used in Austria and some other Central and Southeast European countries to measure elevation referring to the average water level of the Adriatic Sea at the Sartorio mole in the Port of Trieste.


The gauging station in the Port of Trieste was established in the 19th century by the local observatory run by the military geographical institute of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The average water surface elevation at Molo Sartorio became the datum valid for the whole Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Whilst the former Yugoslavian states still use it, the Eastern Bloc successor states of Austria-Hungary like Hungary and Czechoslovakia after World War II switched to the Kronstadt Gauge of the Baltic Sea, which is 0.6747 m (2.214 ft) higher.

Whilst for Austria the 1875 gauge is used as the datum, the regions of the former Yugoslavia use the 1900 gauge (Nadmorska visina, m/nv). In Albania (normal-orthometric height) they also refer to heights as 'metres above the Adriatic', but use a specific tide gauge in the port of Durrës.


The individual countries using this datum abbreviate it in different ways depending on their local language, as follows:

  • Austria: m ü. Adria, m.ü.A. or müA, colloquially known as Seehöhe or Adriahöhe
  • Hungary: mAf from méter Adria felett
  • Former Yugoslavian states: m. i. J. from Metara iznad Jadrana

'Metres above the Adriatic' may be abbreviated in English to m AA

Height differences between Austria and neighbouring countries[edit]

In Austria orthometric height is used, while its neighbours use other height systems, which leads to differences. On the state borders these differences are:

(Differences: HAustria − Hneighbouring states)[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "S pomočjo mareografske postaje v Kopru do novega geodetskega izhodišča za Slovenijo" [With the Help of a Tide Gauge Station in Koper to A New Geodetic Origin Point for Slovenia] (in Slovene). Slovenian Environment Agency. 23 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Map with height differences by the Austrian federal office for metrology and surveying, Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°38′49″N 13°45′36″E / 45.646867°N 13.759867°E / 45.646867; 13.759867