# How to calculate the highest theoretical artificial hill?

The biggest peak in the world is Mount Everest.

Imagine someone starting to make an artificial hill (like pyramide) from soil (earth).

So, when starting with an 200x200 Km base area, with 45degree slope, its mathematical height is 100km (Low orbital space height). Is it possible to make such an artificial peak? (Without taking into account financial issues and so on.)

If not, why not? What would happen? Is there a height limit?

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This question is rather similar to this: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/7441/… – Georg Jul 29 '11 at 17:48
I'm not actually really keen to close this as a duplicate because the accepted answer on 7441 describes the limits of building a bean stalk, and this questions is firmly limited to base supported objects. – dmckee Jul 29 '11 at 18:44
The other question starts with a tower, but comes very soon to the core of bulding stability. But the gist is really the same. If You look in this question, its about hills made from soil! Is there much mention of soil in answers? But my opinion is a single one till now. – Georg Jul 29 '11 at 19:02
I asked about the "soil" because i not want asking about the engeneering (buildings), but making a hill from "natural materials" like soils, sand, rocks and so on... – jm666 Jul 29 '11 at 21:01

The limiting factor will be that the shear strain inside the pyramid will eventually exceed the elastic limit for whatever material the pyramid is made of. For rock maximum shear strain is usually of order $10^{-3}$ if memory serves. I've seen people do order of magnitude estimates of this using dimensional analysis, and come up with something of order the height of Everest. To really get an upper limit though you'd need to do a more detailed modeling of the stresses.