The examination of experimental data for significant trends by orthogonal polynomials is well known in statistics. The method is adapted here to the estimation of regional trends in potential field observations, and two characteristically-different gravity maps are analyzed.The method is found to agree closely with a graphical solution in an area of fairly smooth contours, and to give a reasonable solution in an area where the graphical method would be difficult to apply. It is proposed that the orthogonal polynomials could also be adapted to evaluating total mass and to interpreting second derivative maps.

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