Several recent publications advocate the use of the vertical gradient of gravity from gravimeter measurements at two elevations in a portable tower (Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1976; Fajklewicz, 1976; Mortimer, 1977). Contrary opinions have also been expressed (Hammer and Anzoleaga, 1975; Stanley and Green, 1976; Thysen-Bornemisza, 1977; Arzi, 1977). The disagreement revolves around the question of practically attainable precision of the vertical gradient tower method. Although it is possible to calculate both horizontal and vertical gradients from conventional gravity survey data by use of the Hilbert transform (Stanley and Green, 1976), it should be noted that highly precise gravity data are required. Also the need for connected elevation and location surveys, the major cost in gravity surveying, is not avoided. This is a significant advantage of the gradient methods. The purpose here is to present a brief consideration of the relative precision of the horizontal and vertical gradients, as measured in the field by special gravimeter observations.

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