Let $M$ be a compact Riemannian manifold and $\Sigma\subset M$ a closed submanifold. Given $x\in M$ we define the *distance function to* $\Sigma$ by $$d_\Sigma(x):=\inf\{d(x,y):y\in \Sigma\},$$ where $d$ is the metric on $M$. Of course, in a small tubular neighborhood of $\Sigma$ the function $d_\Sigma$ will be smooth. Rather, my questions have to do with *global* properties of $d_\Sigma$.

Since $\Sigma$ is a closed subset of $M$, it is not hard to prove, using the triangle inequality, that $d_\Sigma$ is a Lipschitz-continuous function with respect to the metric $d$, with Lipschitz constant $1$. In fact, $d_\Sigma \in W^{1,\infty}(M)$ (see Section 5.8 in Evans' PDE book) and it is differentiable a.e. on $M$ by Rademacher's Theorem.

My first question is the following:

- If $M=\mathbb{R}^n$ then $d_\Sigma$ is a solution to the Eikonal equation, i.e. $\|\nabla d_\Sigma\|=1$ a.e. Is this also true for a general manifold $M$?

My second question is related to the behavior of $d_\Sigma$ when we vary the set $\Sigma$.

Suppose $\Sigma_t$ are closed submanifolds of $M$ that vary continously in the Hausdorff distance $d_H$, with respect to $t$. Remember that $d_H$ is a metric in the set of compact subsets of $M$. In particular we have the triangle inequality $$d(x,\Sigma_t)\leq d(x,\Sigma_s) + d_H(\Sigma_s,\Sigma_t).$$ This implies that the functions $d(\cdot,\Sigma_t)$ form a continuous curve in $L^\infty(M)$.

- Is it also true that $d(\cdot,\Sigma_t)$ is a continuous curve in $W^{1,\infty}(M)$? i.e. does it's gradients vary continuously? If not, would it be continuous (perhaps under extra assumptions) in a less regular $L^p$-norm, e.g. $W^{1,2}(M)$?