Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Gravity Resolution

E. K. Biegert
E. K. Biegert
Shell Exploration and Technology Company, Houston, Texas USA
Search for other works by this author on:
January 01, 1998


Estimation of the accuracy and precision associated with a gravity survey is not an easy task. We must estimate not only the accuracy and precision associated with each observation of the Earth's gravity field, but also, because most modern surveys are acquired from moving platforms (or individual land stations are leveled as interconnected networks), we must estimate the spatial resolution of the survey. In one of the first attempts to understand this problem, Alan Herring of EDCON prepared the following graph, summarizing the estimated range of accuracies and spatial resolution of gravity acquisition systems. Individual estimates taken from specific surveys agree fairly well with this envelope, but vary depending on actual survey conditions. This graph plots survey accuracy as a function of shortest observable wavelength for various types of gravity acquisition systems.

Perhaps the best way to estimate survey accuracy and spatial resolution is to record “repeat lines,” that is, to make multiple observations of the gravity field over the same traverse. Fourier analysis of the repeat lines provides a good estimate of the spatial reproducibility of the survey and allows characterization of the noise statistics.

More commonly, gravity surveys are acquired as a series of intersecting profiles. Harmonization of the line intersections required to “level” the survey and the resultant “mis-tie” histograms often are quoted as indicative of the resolution of the survey, but they provide little information about the spatial resolution

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geophysical References Series

Geologic Applications of Gravity and Magnetics: Case Histories

Richard I. Gibson
Richard I. Gibson
Search for other works by this author on:
Patrick S. Millegan
Patrick S. Millegan
Search for other works by this author on:
Society of Exploration Geophysicists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1998




A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now