The vertical normal component of stress in the earth at a point of some depth Z is, in general, equal to weight of the overburden per unit area plus contributions from the vertical shear components of stress. Observations of structural geology imply that the possibility of contributions from these shears should not be overlooked.

This note also emphasizes that measurements of the vertical normal component which are not equal to the weight of the overburden per unit area are not necessarily invalid.

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