Conventional reductions of gravity and magnetic data do not lead to values that are effectively on the same horizontal plane, although it is common practice to regard them so. In regions of high topographic relief, failure to take into account local differences in vertical gradients can result in appreciable error. In this study a method is developed for reducing to a common level gravity or magnetic anomaly data observed at unevenly spaced stations at various elevations above a reference plane. The reduction is effected by means of finite harmonic series approximations in which the coefficients are determined by matrix methods and least squares. Traditional Fourier methods are not applicable because uneven station spacing and relative vertical displacement of stations preclude the use of the orthogonality properties of the trigonometric functions. The number of terms required to represent the data adequately is discussed in terms of “cutoff” wavenumbers empirically determined from residual variance estimates. The method is illustrated by application to theoretical and field data.

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