A simple but rigorous and quite general mathematical method is given for finding the minimum separation of two nearby bodies at which their observed combined effect indicates the presence of two separate bodies. Geophysical applications of the method are illustrated by investigating the resolution of gravity and torsion balance data for the two limiting cases of spheres and infinite horizontal cylinders, the resolution of the vertical magnetic intensity for infinite rectangular plugs, and the direct interpretation of the infinite horizontal rectangular block. The possible usefulness of such analysis in the selection of a geophysical field method and in the choice of station spacing is discussed.

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