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PME 316: Exploration Geophysics

(2 CREDITS; 24 HOURS/SEMESTER)

LECTURE 1: GRAVITY SURVEY FOR EXPLORATION

Dr. Mohammad Hoque


PME, SUST

GRAVITY
HOME
WORK

GRAVITY

GRAVITY & RELATIVE GRAVITY


Gravity surveying measures
variations in the Earths gravitional
field caused by difference differences
in the density of sub-surface rocks.
Although known colloquially as the
gravity method, it is in fact the
variation of the acceleration due to
gravity that is measured.
In gravity exploration it is not
normally necessary to determine the
absolute value of gravity, but rather it
is the relative variation that is
measured.

GEOID
What is the shape of the Earth?
The sea-level surface (if un-disturbed) is known as Geoid. It is
particularly important in gravity surveying as it is horizontal and at
right angles to the direction of acceleration due to gravity everywhere.
Equipotential surface of gravity
The irregular distribution of mass alter the geoid, which is why geoid
is not identical to the ellipse of rotation
rotation

GRAVITY UNIT
Normal value of g = 980 cm/s2
Gal = 1 cm/s2
1 milliGal = 10-3gal
1 microGal =10-6 gal
In SI gravity is measured m/s2 - gravity unit (g. u.)
1 g. u. =0.1 mGal
10 g. u. = 1 mGal

GRAVITY ANOMALY
Agravity anomalyis the difference between the
observed acceleration ofEarth's Gravityand a value
predicted from a model.

Models

GEOLOGICAL
FACTOR
AFFECTING
DENSITY
(IN MEGA
GRAM PER
CUBIC METRE
OR GRAM PER
CUBIC
CENTIMETRE)

GRAVITY MEASUREMENT

Absolute Gravity

Relative Gravity

GRAVIMETRE

LaCoste-Romberg gravimetre
Worden gravimetre

GRAVITY SURVEY TYPES

SURVEY DESIGN

FACTORS AFFECTING GRAVITY


1.Instrumental (spring) Drift
2. Location, hence Latitude of measurement
3.Elevation of the measuring plane
4.Tides
5.Masses between datum and measuring plane
6.Terrain condition
7.Survey vehicle's speed and direction
Need to do some corrections of observed value of g?

CORRECTION
As is true of most all measurement of physical
properties, there are always effects that change the
measured values that we are NOT interested in and
that we desire to remove (or correct for) as
accurately as possible.
An important point is that we measure gravity at
whatever value our gravimeter reads, and THEN
we correct that data for these different effects that
we are not interested in.

CORRECTION
In the case of gravity , there are seven gravity
effects to correct for:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Drift correction
Latitude correction
Free-air correction
Tide correction
Bouguer correction
Terrain condition
Eotvos correction

1. DRIFT CORRECTION
The reading of a gravimeters at a point
changes with time!
Causes:
Instrument drift: due to
environmental changes (P,T) and
spring creep
Earth tides: relative rotations of the
earth, moon and sun
Correcting procedure:
1.Return to base station
periodically
2. Assume drift is linear
3. Correct measurements in loop

2. LATITUDINAL CORRECTIONS

1- It is caused by both rotation of the earth and its slight equatorial bulge.
2- The maximum value occurs at latitude 45.
3- L.C. equal to zero at equator and pole.
4- The correction is added as we moved toward the equator.

2. LATITUDINAL CORRECTIONS
Gravity varies from 9.78 m/s2 at the equator (lat=0) to 9.83 m/s2 at the poles (lat: north =
+90; south = -90). This is a huge change: a 0.052 m/s2 variation equals 5200 mgals! This is
much larger than other gravitational effects. The gravity varies with latitude for two
reasons:
The Earth is not a sphere, but a flattened spheroid with an equatorial radius of 6,378 km
and a polar radius of 6,356 km (21 km different). Thus, the gravity is LESS at the equator
because it is FARTHER AWAY from the Earths center of mass.
The Earth is a non-inertial reference frame because it is a rotating body that spins once per
day. At the equator any object has a rotational velocity of 465 m/s, whereas at the poles the
rotational velocity is zero! Physics requires that a rotational reference frame has noninertial (fictitious) forces such as the outward directed centrifugal force. The centrifugal
force is the force that any mass rotating with the planet feels in response to the centripetal
force that the planets gravity field provides to continually curve an objects path on the
earth intoa circular path. Recall Newtons first law says that all masses go in a straight line
in a INTERTIAL reference frame unless acted on by an unbalanced force (it is gravity that
provides the unbalanced force as a centripetal acceleration).

g ( ) 1 (1 2 sin 2 3 sin 2 2 ), 1 9.78031, 2 5.3024e 3 , 3 5.900e 6 .

The International gravity formula that describes latitudinal ()


variations in m/s2 units is:
An approximate latitudinal equation when survey is small.

gravity

3. FREE-AIR CORRECTION

To apply an elevation correction to our observed gravity, we need to know the


elevation of every gravity station. If this is known, we can correct all of the observed
gravity readings to a common elevation (usually chosen to be sea level) by adding
-0.3086 times the elevation of the station in meters to each reading. Given the
relatively large size of the expected corrections, how accurately do we actually need to
know the station elevations?
If we require a precision of 0.01 mgals, then relative station elevations need to be
known to about 3 cm. To get such a precision requires very careful location surveying
to be done. In fact, one of the primary costs of a high-precision gravity survey is in
obtaining the relative elevations needed to compute the Free-Air correction.
a- It is a correction for change in elevation.
b- F.A. is calculated by
F. A. = 0.3086 x h mgal/m
c- The F.A.C. is added to the field reading
when the station is above the datum and
subtracted when below.

4. TIDE CORRECTION
1- It is the change of gravity due to movement of the sun and moon.
2- These variation has amplitude as large as 0.3 mgal.
3- The amplitude depend on latitude and time.

5. BOUGUER CORRECTION
1- It is account for attraction of materials between the
stations and the datum plane.
2- We have to consider that the stations are located on a
plateau of horizontal extent
has uniform thickness and density.
3- B.C. is calculated by
B.C. = 0.04191 ph mgal
4- B.C. is applied in the opposite sense to F.A.C. , it is
subtracted when the stations are above the datum and vice
versa.

5. BOUGUER CORRECTION

Also notice that to apply


the
Bouguer
Slab
correction we need to
know the elevations of
all of the observation
points and the density
of the slab used to
approximate the excess
mass. In choosing a
density, use an average
density for the rocks in
the survey area. For a
density
of
2.67
gm=cm3, the Bouguer
Slab Correction is about
0:11 mgals=m.

6. TERRAIN CORRECTION

1- It is applied only in mountainous area.

2- The reading is applied to surface irregularity in the vicinity of the station.


3- The measurements decreases in both cases :
a- Upward attraction due to hill.
b- Downward attraction due to valleys.
4- The terrain correction is always added.

Like Bouguer Slab Corrections, when computing Terrain Corrections we need to


assume an average density for the rocks exposed by the surrounding topography.
Usually, the same density is used for the Bouguer and the Terrain Corrections.
Thus far, it appears as though applying Terrain Corrections may be no more
difficult than applying the Bouguer Slab Corrections. Unfortunately, this is not the
case.

6. TERRAIN CORRECTION
Hammer Approach
(not for details, could be important for thesis /
project work at 4-1/4-2 stage)

7. EOTVOS CORRECTION
For a gravimetre mounted on a vehicle, such as a ship or a helicopter, the
measured gravitational acceleration is affected by the vertical component of the
Coriolis acceleration which is function of the speed and the direction in which
the vehicle is travelling.
To compensate for this, gravity data are adjusted by applying the Eotvos
correction (named after Baron von Eotvos).
gEC= 75.08 cos sin + 0.0416 V2 (g. u.)
Where, is the degree of geographical latitude,
is the azimuth in degrees,
and V is the speed of the vehicle in knots per hour.

CORRECTION ALL TOGETHER


Adding or subtracting the gravity corrections: It is very important to keep
physical track of the sign of the corrections; if you do not, you will get the
wrong answer. Remember, we are correcting the measured gravity data
to remove unwanted effects.
The free-air effect is added if you are above sea-level and is subtracted
if you are below sea-level.
The Bouguer effect is subtracted if you are above sea-level (+h) and
added if you are below sea-level (-h).
Total Bouguer correction : Bouguer = observed latitude +/- free-air +/Bouguer
Total correct to Free-air:
Free-air = observed latitude +/- free-air
The sign of the free-air and Bouguer correction depends on whether the
Bouguer Gravity: (after all corrections to observed gravity data is often called Bougur gravity)
measurements was made above or below ones datum.

Bouguer anomaly can be obtained by:

REGIONAL AND RESIDUAL ANOMALIES


Note that there are three different
structures - dyke, granite, dipping strata associated with mass anomalies that create
different gravitational effects.
Often, we surveying at a small scale (e.g.,
for the dyke and granite bodies), we are
NOT interested in the larger scale regional
gravity effects (e.g., the dipping strata).
Thus, we reduce the data by subtracting an
eyeball estimate of the regional gravity
trend The dotted lines show two possible
regional trends.
After subtracting the regional gravity trends,
we can more easily see the short scale
residual features we are interested in
studying.

SEPARATING LOCAL AND REGIONAL


GRAVITY ANOMALIES

INTERPRETATION
Duly corrected observed gravity
data can be interpreted in two
different way:
1.Direct interpretation of the
observed data
2.Indirect or inverse (model
based) interpretation
Selection of interpretation
techniques depends on the
project objectives.

Different bodies giving


identical anomalies.

USES
Depth estimates
Mass determination
Identification of geological structure
Mineral exploration
Basin configuration
Detection of underground cavities
Volcanic hazards
Basement configuration and nature etc.

GRAVITY
ANOMALIES
OVER GIVEN
GEOMETRIC
FORMS

GRAVITY ANOMALIES OVER GIVEN


GEOMETRIC FORMS

MODELLING A BASIN

To model irregular shapes like a basin, a


set of rectangular mass anomalies can be
used to approximate the geometry of the
basin. Then, the total gravity effect of the
basin is found by adding up all the gravity
from the rectangles.

WHAT THIS
MAP TELLS US?

WHY
GRAVITY IS
CHANGING
ON A
TEMPORAL
BASIS?

THANK YOU