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Lacoste & Romberg Inc Gravity Meter Instructions

(Model D-66 and G-198 of Geophysical Engineering of Montana Tech)

Figure 1 Top plate and control panel of the LaCoste & Romberg Model D-66 gravimeter.
(Modified from L&R manual, 1991. The latest upgrading of D-66 is April, 2007).

1. Place a circular aluminum baseplate on a flat area.

2. Remove the gravimeter from carrying case and place it on the baseplate. Gently slide
the meter in the concave baseplate until the meter levels indicate the gravimeter is
approximately level.
3. Connect power source. Wait for 2 to 5 hours because a gravimeter requires so long to
reach an equilibrium operating temperature. (This should be done indoor well before
field trip to save time.)
4. Sensitivity Check:
o Based on Step 2, level the gravimeter using the three black leveling knobs.
For efficiency, you may wish to level the Cross Level (also called traverse
level that is at 90 with the direction of the meters beam) first using the two
Cross Level Adjustment leveling knobs on the left side atop the gravimeter
(see Figure 1). Then, level the Long Level with the Long Level Adjustment
knob on the right side. The accuracy of the gravity readings will depend on
the accuracy of the meter leveling. Check Levels Frequently! (Note: for the
gravimeter of Model G-198, the leveling screws and their knurled turning
flanges are under the meter.)
o Turn on the reading light and the spirit level lights. The switch is located on
the near right side of the black lid. Do not leave the light turned on for a
prolonged time, especially in hot weather.
o Observe the position of the beam. It will be close to the bottom stop (clamped
o Turn the Arrestment knob counterclockwise to its furthest extent TO

arrestment knob is located on the near side of the microscope eyepiece. DO

o Turn the nulling dial to locate the lower and upper stops (the interval between
lower stop and upper stop is about 14 small optical divisions).
o Position the crosshair about one small optical division above the bottom stop.
Be sure to approach the reading line (see Figure 2) from the left (clockwise
turn of the nulling dial). The reading line for D-66 is 2.60. The reading line
for G-198 is 3.20. (Before the upgrading in April 2007, the reading line for D66 is 2.80. Forget this number now).
o Turn the nulling dial approximately 1 mGal clockwise. This would be one full
revolution for the Model G gravimeter and ten full revolutions for the standard
Model D gravimeter. Observe and record the number of small optical
divisions the crosshair moves in the eyepiece.
o If the beam moves approximately 9-11 small optical divisions, then a Long
Level adjustment is not necessary.
o If the sensitivity is too low (< 9 small optical divisions), lower the right side
of the meter a small amount so the level bubble moves away from the
eyepiece stalk. Recheck the sensitivity of the meter. If the sensitivity is now
within the acceptable range (9-11), reset the Long Level as follows:
a) Be careful not to move the meter
b) Open the small level adjusting access hole at the left end of the long
level. For G-198, it does not have a small level-adjusting access hole
in the black lid. Need to remove the black lid to reach the level
c) Insert the hexagonal adjusting tool through the access hole into the
level adjusting screw.
d) Gently turn until the level bubble is centered.
o If the sensitivity is out of the above range (> 11), the long level and sensitivity
should be adjusted in small increments, usually about a fourth or a half of a
bubble division. Raise the right side of the meter a small amount so the Long
Level bubble moves toward the eyepiece stalk (to the right). Recheck the
sensitivity. If the sensitivity is now within the acceptable range, reset the Long
Level with the level adjusting tool as described above [step a] to d)].
o After all the above adjustments, be sure the cross level remains with its bubble
in the center.
5. Reading line check
o The position of the beam is determined by the image of the crosshair in the
microscope. The crosshair is a very fine wire attached to the beam. A scale or
reticule is placed in the optical path for reading. The total motion of the beam
is small about 14 small scale divisions. The left side of the crosshair is used
as the reading edge. An example is shown below in Fig. 2.

Figure 2 Meter reading from the crosshair in the eyepiece. (from L&R manual, 2004).
Each gravimeter has its own characteristic reading line. There is a small
placard below the thermometer on the meter lid indicating the reading line.
For the L&R gravimeter Model G-198, the characteristic reading line is 3.20,
while for the Model D-66, it is 2.60 (upgraded April 2007).
o Level the meter
o Turn on the reading lamp
o Unclamp the meter
o Use the nulling dial to adjust the crosshair to the reading line as specified on
the meter (for G-198 it is 3.20; for D-66, it is 2.60)
6. To take a reading,
o Peer through the eyepiece and locate the crosshair. Adjust the nulling dial
(Nulling Dial) to bring the left side of the crosshair to match the left side of
the reading line (2.60 for D-66, 3.20 for G-198). If the crosshair need to
move to the left of the reading line, turn the dial counterclockwise,
otherwise, turn clockwise.
o Always approach the reading line from the same direction, for example, from
left to right (turning clockwise). If coming from the right side
(counterclockwise), turn the dial about one quarter turn past the null and
approach clockwise. The play or slack in the gears and universal joint would
cause errors if the null (reading line) is not approached always from the same
o To ascertain the reading from a Model G is correct or save time by null the
dial for the first reading. The following Table may be useful:

Table A.1 Approximate readings corresponding to gravities at different

latitude for Model G L&R gravimeters.



Record the number in the counter, the station number (position and elevation
of the station), and the time when the gravimeter reading is taken. There is a
decimal place to the right of the last digit.
For G-198, the last digit on the counter should match the last digit on the dial.
This number is tenths of unit. Estimate one more digit from the dial (hundreds
of unit). Example: The counter number is 36215 and the dial number is 52.
The meter reading is then 3621.52. Here 5 in 36215 is estimated, but after
match the reading from the dial, it is an accurate number. 2 in 52 is a real
estimate from the dial (see Fig. 1).
For D-66, the last digit on the counter should correspond to the same number
on the dial. The 10 major dial divisions are further subdivided and each one of
these graduations are approximate mGals. Example: The counter number
16543 and dial setting is 36. The meter reading should read 165.436. (Note:
If the numbers on the dial do not correspond to the last digit on the counter,
the dial should be reset. This can be accomplished by loosening the set screws
which hold the dial on the measuring screw shaft and turning the dial until it is
brought into agreement with the last digit on the counter. Then tighten the set
Note: It is a good practice to double check the levels, the readings, and the
field notes after each reading.

After reading is finished at one station, clam the meter by turning the
Arrestment Knob clockwise to the end of travel to clamp the beam to
protect it.
7. Converting the counter reading to mGals: To convert the meter readings Ggravimeter to gravity in mGals, the calibration table for the specific G gravimeter is
needed. Suppose the meter reading is 3621.52 using Montana Techs G-198 meter.
The meter reading in milligals is obtained by finding the highest tabled value lower
than the new reading (thus we got 3600, see the following calibration table). Record

the value of the table value in milligals (thus we got 3807.31). Subtract the table
value (3600) from the meter reading (3621. 52) and multiply this difference
(3621.52 - 3600 = 21.52) by the tabled interval factor (1.05874, see the calibration
table) to convert this difference to milligals (21.52 x 1.05874 = 22.7840848 mGals).
Add the tabled milligal value (3807.31 mGals) to the calculated value (22.7840848
mGals), we got the converted gravity value (22.7840848 + 3807.31 = 3830.094085
If all the meter readings are within an interval of the calibration table, you may use a
single calibration factor, the interval factor. For instance, if your readings are between
3600 and 3700, then the converted gravity in mGals is just: reading times the interval
factor corresponding to 3600 which is 1.05874.
Many Model D meters have a calibration curve that is adequately straight so that a
single calibration factor can be used for the meter. However, one turn of the D
meters nulling dial is equal to about 0.1 mGals instead of 1 mGals on the G meters
nulling dial. Thus, the decimal must be moved one place to the left in the meter
reading or in the calibration factor. For instance, if the meter reading from Montana
Techs D-66 meter is 142.643, and the calibration factor is 1.2335, then the converted
gravity is 142.643 x 1.2335 = 175.9501405 mGals.
Our D-66 gravimeter is a standard meter that has two micrometer screws and lever
systems (two crosshairs) for balancing the force of gravity. The coarse side (coarse
crosshair) has a worldwide range of at least 7,000 mGals. There are 100 turns of the
coarse nulling dial for each turn of the micrometer screw. Each turn of the screw is
about 70 mGals. Thus each turn of the nulling dial is about 0.7 mGals. During
surveys over a gravity span of less than the range of the fine screw, the coarse side
would be locked and unused. The meter would be used in the same manner as the
regular Model D meter. Just use the fine side calibration table. On the other hand,
where the range of the gravity changes is greater than the range of the fine side screw,
the fine side can be locked and the meter is used the same way as a Model G meter,
just use the coarse side calibration table for reading conversion.
The following is an example for converting readings at two stations from a standard
Model D gravimeter.

3734.522 3487.048 = 247.474 mGals. That is, the gravity at the second station is
247.474 mGals greater than the first station.
Remember that the L&R gravimeter (Model G or D) is a relative gravity meter. A single
reading does not determine gravity. It only measures the difference in gravity between
different locations or over a time interval at the same site. If the converted reading at
Station A is 2799.23 mGals, and it is 2898.33 mGals at Station B. Then the gravity at
Station B is 100.1 mGals (2899.33-2799.23 = 100.1). If Station A is a standard gravity
station which the value is 980233.78 mGals, then the gravity at Station B is 980233.78 +
100.1 = 980333.88 mGals.
Another Example (using G-198):
Meter reading: 3721.21
Highest tabled value: 3700
Difference: 21.21
Interval factor: 1.05870 (from Table 1)
Difference x Interval Factor. 21.21x1.05870 = 22.455027 mGal
Highest tabled value in milligals: 3913.19 mGal (from Table 1)
Sum: 3913.19 mGal + 22.455027 mGal = 3935.645027 mGal.
8. To check the drift of the gravimeter
o Place the gravimeter where it will not be disturbed, preferably on a concrete
floor in an even temperature room. Read the Meter every 15 minutes for a
period of at least 6 hours.
o Plot the readings on a time chart and draw a line through the points.

Apply diurnal (tidal) corrections to the reading curve at each hour to plot the
drift line. (Tidal gravity effects tables should be provided with the instrument).
ITS FURTHEST EXTENT before moving. Turn off light. Return instrument to case.

1. The holes in the top of the gravimeter for the Level Adjustment Screws and the
Reset Control are closed with removable plugs. These plugs should be in place at
all times when the gravimeter is being operated. If the plugs are not in place, the
instrument components will be subjected to temperature shock, and a rapid drift
may be experienced.
2. Avoid direct sunlight on the gravimeter Top Plate since it may cause the levels to

For the calibration table for Montana Tech's meter G-198 see the following table. (Thank
Danny Paulk of L and R Meter Service, L.L.C. for retrieving it on April 14, 2007 after
this table was missed for a long time.)