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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 16 (1932)

Issue: 12. (December)

First Page: 1235

Last Page: 1249

Title: Accuracy of Determination of Relative Gravity by Torsion Balance

Author(s): Donald C. Barton (2)


Determination of relative gravity by the Eotvos torsion balance has been shown by Oltay and others to be as accurate as the determination by the invariable pendulum. In the present paper, the probable error of the torsion balance determination of relative gravity is calculated from the error of closure of 45 traverses comprising 2,800 stations, most of them in the Gulf Coast region. The probable error of each individual observation in those surveys is calculated to have been ±2.2 Eotvos units for the traverses taken together, or from ±1.9 E for the traverses with the larger station interval to ±5 E for the traverses for the small station interval. But the greater error of the individual observations in the traverses which have the shorter station interval h s been compensated, intentionally, by that shorter interval, and the probable error of the determination of relative gravity by those 45 traverses is approximately 0.4 milledyne per 10 kilometers of traverse without regard to the magnitude of the probable error of the individual observations or of the station interval. The probable error of the determination of relative gravity between key points in good torsion balance surveys presumably is approximately ±2.5 to ±3.5 E per 10 kilometers airline distance between the two places. If pendulum determinations of relative gravity are used to supplement and to increase the accuracy of torsion balance surveys, there is a minimum interval at which the pendulum stations should be placed, for at lesser intervals the determination of relat ve gravity by the torsion balance is more accurate than that by the pendulum. That minimum interval ranges from 100 to 200 kilometers for the pendulum observations of the first quarter of the century to 8 to 50 kilometers for first class modern pendulum observations.

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