Abstract

The effect of varying surface densities on gravity anomalies is a more common problem in areas of topographical relief than is generally recognized. There is an unjustified tendency to assume that gravity maps are unique and final, even though one basic assumption (density of surface rocks) is inherent in all gravity maps. The use of incorrect elevation factors will produce gravity anomalies over any topographic feature. Both positive and negative gravity anomalies can be produced by either a topographic hill or valley depending on the degree of error in the elevation factor. These "elevation factor anomalies" are especially troublesome on residual gravity maps. The interpretation of gravity data should always include an analysis of the elevation factor effect as well as a study of the surface geology.

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