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Mountain Environments


Projects that take place in mountain areas present two difficulties: access and terrain. Regional surveys may be performed by locating bare outcrops or clearings for the helicopter to land. Gravity stations are located on-the-fly and coverage is a matter of quick map reading and good judgement of distance from high above the ground. For regional stations, the helicopter pilot must wait while the operator sets up the GPS and takes a gravity reading, or the same pilot may leap frog between two operators if they are not far apart and the time between readings is at least 10-15 minutes.

A local survey will be carried out on the ground and the helicopter will only be used to drop off the crews at the beginning of the day and pick them up again before dark. Steep terrain and rivers may divide the project into logistically separate areas where the only access may be by air.

Terrain causes additional problems both in the field and for data processing. Real-time GPS may have problems communicating with the base over the entire area. More than one base setup may have to be established or repeaters used to reach these areas. Canyons may also occur to limit the number of available satellites. Rugged terrain will require extensive terrain corrections during the processing stage. Inner terrain corrections can be collected in the field but visibility beyond 50 meters can be a problem. If reasonably accurate digit elevation data is available for the entire project area, then outer terrain corrections can be computed and applied to the resulting Bouguer Gravity Maps.

The photographs below illustrate the techniques and conditions crews will encounter on such projects.



Mountain Top Gravity

Scintrex CG-3 meter

Mountain Gravity

Mountain Gravity


Steep Slopes

GPS Base

Supply Plane


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Last Modified on Mon 10-Oct-2016

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