Practical issues (This lecture is based largely on: http://www.earthsci.unimelb.edu.au/ES304/) The shape of the gravity anomaly depends not on the absolute density, but on the density contrast, i.e. the difference between the anomalous density and the background density. Practical issues

Heres a list of densities associated with various earths materials: material 1000 kg/m3 sediments 1.7-2.3 sandstone 2.0-2.6 shale 2.0-2.7 limestone 2.5-2.8 granite 2.5-2.8 basalt 2.7-3.1

metamorphic 2.6-3.0 Note that: Density differences are quite small, up to 800 kg/m3. There's considerable overlap in the measured densities. Practical issues Consider the variation in gravitational acceleration due to a spherical ore body with a radius of 10 meters, buried at a depth of 25 meters below the surface, and with a density contrast of 500 kg per meter cubed. The maximum anomaly for this example is 0.025 mGal.

(keep in mind that 9.8 m/s2 is equal to 980,000 mGal !!!) Practical issues Owing to the small variation in rock density, the spatial variations in the observed gravitational acceleration caused by geologic structures are quite small A gravitational anomaly of 0.025 mGal is very small compared to the 980,000 mGals gravitational acceleration produced by the earth as a whole. Actually, it represents a change in the gravitational field of only 1 part in 40 million. Clearly, a variation in gravity this small is going to be difficult to

measure. Practical issues How is gravity measures: Falling objects Pendulum Mass on a spring Practical issues Falling objects: The distance a body falls is proportional to the time it has fallen

squared. The proportionality constant is the gravitational acceleration, g: g = distance / time2 . To measure changes in the gravitational acceleration down to 1 part in 40 million using an instrument of reasonable size, we need to be able to measure changes in distance down to 1 part in 10 million and changes in time down to 1 part in 10 thousands!! As you can imagine, it is difficult to make measurements with this level of accuracy. Practical issues Pendulum measurements:

The period of oscillation of the pendulum, T, is proportional to one over the square root of the gravitational acceleration, g. The constant of proportionality, k, depends on the pendulum length: k T = 2 . g Here too, in order to measure the acceleration to 1 part in 50 million requires a very accurate estimate of the instrument

constant k,but k cannot be determined accurately enough to do this. Practical issues But all is not lost: We could measure the period of oscillation of a given pendulum by dividing the time of many oscillations by the total number of oscillations. By repeating this measurement at two different locations, we can estimate the variation in gravitational acceleration without knowing k.

Practical issues Mass on a spring measurements: The most common type of gravimeter used in exploration surveys is based on a simple massspring system. According to Hooks law: X = mg / k , with k being the spring stiffness. Practical issues Like pendulum the measurements, we can not determine k accurately enough to estimate the absolute value of the gravitational acceleration to 1 part in 40 million.

We can, however, estimate variations in the gravitational acceleration from place to place to within this precision. Under optimal conditions, modern gravimeters are capable of measuring changes in the Earth's gravitational acceleration down to 1 part in 1000 million. Practical issues Various undesired factors affect the measurements:

Temporal (time-dependent) variations: 1. Instrumental drift 2. Tidal effects 1. 2. 3. 4. Spatial variations: Latitude variations Altitude variations

Slab effects Topography effect Practical issues Instrumental drift: The properties of the materials used to construct the spring change with time. Consequently, gravimeters can drift as much as 0.1 mgal per day. What causes the oscillatory changes superimposed on the instrumental drift?

Practical issues Tidal effect: In this example, the amplitude of the tidal variation is about 0.15 mGals, and the amplitude of the drift appears to be about 0.12 mGals over two days. These effects are much larger than the example gravity anomaly described previously. Practical issues Since changes caused by instrumental drift and tidal effects do not reflect the mass distribution at depth, they are treated as noise.

Strategies to correct for instrumental drift and tidal effects are discussed in: www.earthsci.unimelb.edu.au/ES304/MODULES/GRAV/NOTES/tcorrect.html Practical issues Regional and local (or residual) gravity anomalies: Consider a spherical ore body embedded in a sedimentary unit on top of a (denser) Granitic basement that is dipping to the right.

Practical issues The strongest contribution to the gravity is caused by largescale geologic structure that is not of interest. The gravitational acceleration produced by these large-scale features is referred to as the regional gravity anomaly. Practical issues The second contribution is

caused by smaller-scale structure for which the survey was designed to detect. That portion of the observed gravitational acceleration associated with these structures is referred to as the local or the residual gravity anomaly. Practical issues There are several methods of removing unwanted regional gravity

anomalies. Here's an example for a graphical approach: Smoothing in 1 dimension Smoothing in 2 dimensions Practical issues Variations in gravity around the globe are inferred from satellite orbit. The balance between the gravitational attraction and the centrifugal force is written as: M E m mV 2 2 =

. r r This leads to: 2 r 2 M E = , T 3

where T is the satellites period, 2r / V . Practical issues Yet, the highest resolution whole earth gravity maps are derived from radar measurement of the height of the sea surface.