Analysis of components of the gravity anomaly field from basic one, two, and three-dimensional masses demonstrates that all components of the same derivative order attenuate with flight elevation at the same rate for a given type of anomaly. Different types of anomalies attenuate with significantly different rates. The signal strength of an anomaly component is conveniently defined as the difference between values at adjacent maximum and minimum points along a profile. For a given type of anomaly, the signal strengths of all comparable components are roughly equal, within about half an order of magnitude. Relative attenuations of anticipated signal and terrain noise permit evaluation of favorable and unfavorable prospect areas for airborne gravity exploration. A corollary result is that the tolerance in flight elevation control is orders of magnitude less severe for gradiometer surveying than for airborne gravity surveying. The conclusions are relevant in the choice of the most advantageous component for possible development of airborne gravimetry.

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