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1 Aim

The key aim of this survey was to take measurements of height at different points in a
specific area of land. To do this, we used a surveying method in which the rise and fall
measures were recorded. A closed loop circuit was used, meaning we started and ended
at the same point, allowing us to calculate the accuracy of our survey.

2 Apparatus
Automatic level this was the piece used to scope the height
measurement from the graduated staff. This was attached to the top of the
tripod using a screw to keep it steady. It was levelled using a bubble level
located on the base.

Tripod the tripod was used to make sure the level was
kept steady during use. Each leg had a point on the end which was
rammed into the ground for maximum stability.

Graduated staf the staff has measurements running up the height of

it which are made easy to read for maximum precision and accuracy. To
ensure correct measurements, the staff was placed on top of the wooden
peg at each point. When the height was being recorded from the
automatic level, the staff was to be waved slowly backwards and
forwards. This made sure that the correct height could be measured by
only recording the smallest height seen on the staff.

Wooden pegs these were put securely into the earth using the mallet.


3 Method
The Levelling survey was undertaken on the Heriot Watt Campus, on the edge of Car Park
I and the overflow car park next to it. Car Park I is at a considerably different height than
the overflow carpark. This meant we had to survey across the adjoining bridge using
relevant benchmarks to map the area properly. The following method was used to
complete the survey.

To start the survey, a framework was created by hammering four pegs (A, B, C, D) into
the ground, roughly 50m apart, at the corners of the site being surveyed. Peg A was
chosen as our TBM and the TBM was taken to be 100m above sea level. The tripod and
the automatic level were then set up at a suitable mid-point, between pegs A (TBM) and
B, and then set to horizontal using the spirit level. The automatic level was then pointed
towards the TBM and the first back site reading was taken. Without moving the tripod
and automatic level, two locations, of roughly the same distance from the tripod, were
chosen to be intermediate sites. These reading were then recorded and then the level
pointed to peg B where the first Fore Site reading was taken. The Tripod and automatic
level were then moved to a location in the centre of pegs B and C. From here a Back Site
was taken to points B, two intermediate sites were recorded and then a fore site to peg
C. This process was replicated for all four pegs until the TBM was recorded for a second
time. The results of the survey were catalogued on a booking sheet, then the miss-
closure was calculated. This then allowed the corrected reduced level to be determined
for each point measured during the survey.

B.S. I.S. F.S. Height Rise Fall Reduce Correctio Correcte Rem
Diff. d Level n d Level
1.410 100.000 Peg A
= 100.0
1.023 0.387 0.00 100.387 -0.004 100.384
0.387 0
1.210 0.000 0.18 100.200 -0.004 100.197
-0.187 7
1.172 2.050 0.000 0.84 99.360 -0.004 99.357 P
-0.840 0
1.314 0.000 0.14 99.218 -0.007 99.211
-0.142 2
2.249 0.000 0.93 98.283 -0.007 98.276
-0.935 5
1.287 1.379 0.870 0.00 99.153 -0.007 99.146 P
0.870 0
0.179 1.108 0.00 100.261 -0.011 100.251
1.108 0
1.049 0.000 0.87 99.391 -0.011 99.381
-0.870 0
1.329 1.325 0.000 0.27 99.115 -0.011 99.105 P
-0.276 6
1.867 0.000 0.53 98.577 -0.014 98.563
-0.538 8
2.771 0.000 0.90 97.673 -0.014 97.659
-0.904 4
0.430 2.341 2.341 0.00 100.014 -0.014 100.000 Peg A
0 = 100.0

B.S. F.S. Rise Fall

5.198 5.184 4.706 4.69

4 Data
This section comprises a map of the survey, along with the data obtained, and how the
results of the table were calculated.

Location of pegs.
Location of tripod.
Location of staff for
The above map shows the locations of all pegs, including the Temporary Benchmark A; as
well as instrument locations and all intermediate sights. The table represents the
readings taken for each of the above locations. Rise and falls were calculated for each of
the readings, giving a representation of the level of the ground at the point in comparison
to our TBM (A). As our survey returned back to TBM (A), a known elevation, we were able
to correct for all errors that may have occurred during the process. The table shows that
we read TBM (A) to be 14mm higher than it is known to be. Therefore, we have to
account for this error, distributed throughout our other readings. The error of 14mm was
divided among the number of instrument locations, four, giving an error of 3.5mm per
location. This is compounded throughout the survey i.e. 3.5mm for the first position,
7mm for the second, 10.5mm for the third and 14mm for the final position.

5 Discussion
From the data, it can be seen that this survey report inaccurately represents a portion of
the area west of the Edwin Chadwick building. Our survey contained too large a
misclosure error than the 10mm allowable misclosure, given by:

A ll o w abl e mi s cl osur e=5 C ol li m at or L oc a t io n s=5 4=10 mm

This can be accounted for by various sources of error. The main cause of our error was
undoubtedly human error, which should reduce with further experience of levelling.
Human errors in this survey could include improper swaying of the staff or a non-vertical
staff. Other possible sources of error could stem from not performing a Two Peg Test,
meaning the compensator in the automatic level may have not been perfectly horizontal.
Excepting the initial instrument position, we did not keep the Backsight and Foresight
lengths equal, which may introduce further error. Atmospheric errors will be negligible in
comparison to other errors as the distances surveyed were not great enough for
curvature or refraction to have made a significant impact on the reading. On completion
of our survey, we discovered that the first foresight reading to Peg B had been recorded
incorrectly, which would question the validity of all the other subsequent readings. Errors
this early in the process impact the entire survey following that reading. We may have
carried out the remainder of the survey accurately, with this initial error invalidating all
other measurements. It is crucial to take all precautions possible before taking a reading,
especially if one is inexperienced, as there are numerous sources of error that can
necessitate re-doing the survey, wasting time and money on site.

6 Conclusion
Analysing the results and the allowable misclosure, it can be seen that this was not a
successful survey, and should be repeated with more attention paid to sources of error.
From our survey, we have learned how errors are compounded, and how varied the
sources of those errors can be. With this experience, the methods involved in minimising
error will be more apparent to us, assisting in improved surveying technique in the