Vertical Gradient of Gravity

by Ivan l. Mueller,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 2, Pg. 83-108

Document Type: Journal Paper


The vertical gradients of gravity have great significance both in geodesy and in geophysics. In geodesy, in the free air reduction of gravity, the regional gradients should be used, rather than the customary normal gradients. The gravity anomalies, which include the free air reduction, are used in practice to determine geoid undulations, deflections of the vertical gradients, and the various coefficients of the gravitational potential field of the earth. The vertical gradients, together with the horizontal gradients, define analytically the shape of the equipotential surfaces. In geophysics, the vertical gradient, in addition to its use in computing the gravity anomalies, has great significance in exploration problems, such as the determination of rock densities. The paper describes the various methods of determining the vertical gradient and presents a map of the vertical gradients in Maine and southeastern Canada. A summary is given on the applications.

Subject Headings: Geodetic surveys | Displacement (mechanics) | Rocks | Density currents | Mapping | Light rail transit | Maine | United States | Canada

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