Abstract

Developments in the field of gravity exploration have been significant from Galileo to the recent adaptation of inertial navigation systems. The acquiescence of the torsion balance to the gravity meter came during one of the most exciting times in geophysical exploration, when discoveries were as frequent as once a week.Gravity meters have been made to operate remotely on the water bottom, on the sea surface, in the air, and in boreholes. The final accuracies are generally limited by errors in positioning data rather than the precision of gravity instruments. The achievement of microgal precision (a few parts per billion) is one of the most remarkable engineering developments.Interpretation has nearly kept pace with instrument development, but reports on methods and successes seriously lag (by at least 10 years) in the literature. The problem of ambiguity with respect to mass distributions has been clearly reported. This problem, however, is not adequately treated with respect to anomaly separation. Nonetheless, many excellent papers dealing with anomaly resolution are scattered throughout the literature, from ring operators to fast Fourier transforms. Much discussion also exists on forward and inverse calculations, but little attention has been given in the literature to practical interpretation, especially in the integration of gravity with seismic, magnetic, and borehole geophysical data.

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