List of places on land with elevations below sea level

This is a list of places below mean sea level that are on land.

Places in tunnels, mines, basements, dug holes (also with open sky), under water, under ice, or existing temporarily as a result of ebbing of sea tide etc. are not included. Places where seawater and rainwater is pumped away are included. Fully natural places below sea level require a dry climate; otherwise, rain would exceed evaporation and fill the area.

All figures are in meters below sea level, arranged by depth, lowest first:





Areas of the Netherlands located below sea level (right) compared to dry land (left).

North America


  • Lake Eyre, Australia, −16 m (−52 ft), lowest land in Australia
  • Lake Frome, Australia, −6 m (−20 ft)
  • Taieri Plain, New Zealand, −2 m (−7 ft)

South America

Historic and ice-covered areas

Deeper and larger than any of the trenches in the list above is the Bentley Subglacial Trench in Antarctica, at a depth of 2,540 m (8,330 ft). It is subglacial, meaning that it is permanently covered by the largest ice cap in the world. Therefore, it is not included in any list on the page. If the ice melted it would be covered by sea.

The biggest dry land area below sea level that has been known to exist in the geological past, as measured by continuous volume of atmospheric air below sea level, was the dry bed of the Mediterranean Sea in the late Miocene period during the Messinian salinity crisis.

See also


  1. "News Story – Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica's landmass". News Story – Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica’s landmass. NERC BASS. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. Jonathan Amos (December 12, 2019). "Denman Glacier: Deepest point on land found in Antarctica". BBC. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  3. Mathieu Morlighem; Eric Rignot; Tobias Binder; Donald Blankenship; Reinhard Drews; Graeme Eagles; Olaf Eisen; Fausto Ferraccioli; René Forsberg; Peter Fretwell; Vikram Goel; Jamin S. Greenbaum; Hilmar Gudmundsson; Jingxue Guo; Veit Helm; Coen Hofstede; Ian Howat; Angelika Humbert; Wilfried Jokat; Nanna B. Karlsson; Won Sang Lee; Kenichi Matsuoka; Romain Millan; Jeremie Mouginot; John Paden; Frank Pattyn; Jason Roberts; Sebastian Rosier; Antonia Ruppel; Helene Seroussi; Emma C. Smith; Daniel Steinhage; Bo Sun; Michiel R. van den Broeke; Tas D. van Ommen; Melchior van Wessem; Duncan A. Young (2019-12-12). "Deep glacial troughs and stabilizing ridges unveiled beneath the margins of the Antarctic ice sheet". Nature Geoscience. doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0510-8. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  4. Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 378. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
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