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# 08/11/2012

## Leveling and contouring

Department of Geomatic Engineering
KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
November 2012

Course content
Unit 1: Introduction to surveying
Unit 2: Chain surveying
Unit 3: Measurement of directions and angles
Unit 4: Traversing
Unit 5: Levelling and contouring
Unit 6: Methods of measuring areas
Unit 7: Introduction to GPS technology

08/11/2012

Learning outcomes

## Reduce levels and test the accuracy of levels.

methods of reducing levels

Unit overview

## This lecture will cover:

What is levelling

Purposes of levelling

## Equipment and procedures

Terminology in leveling

Collimation error

Two-peg test

## Booking and reduction

Errors

Applications
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What is levelling?

## A measurement process whereby the difference in

height between two or more points can be
determined

BS

FS

Difference in height
H=BS-FS

When do we level?

earthworks

## To provide a level or inclined plane in the setting out of

construction works

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Levelling equipment

Level

Tripod

Staff

Change plate

Staff bubble

## 50 m tape measure (sometimes)

Terminology in levelling

Level surface

## The direction of gravity is always normal to a level surface

Horizontal surface

## Over short distances (<100 m) the horizontal surface and the

level surface will coincide

08/11/2012

Terminology in levelling

direction of gravity

horizontal
surface

level surface

limit of practical
coincidence (~100 m)

Terminology in levelling

Datum

## A reference surface to which the heights of all points in a

survey or on a site are referred

## The surface which defines the GHD is (approximately) Mean

Sea Level (MSL)

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Terminology in levelling

Benchmark (BM)

## A point placed (e.g. peg, nail, spike) to provide a temporary

reference point

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Terminology in levelling

Backsight (BS)

Foresight (FS)

## Any sighting that is not a backsight or foresight

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Terminology in levelling

## It is the reduced level (R.L.) of the plane of sight when the

levelling instrument is correctly levelled.

the collimation.

## The line of collimation will revolve in a horizontal plane known

as plane of collimation or the plane of sight.

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Terminology in levelling

## Change points should be...

Stable
Well defined
Recoverable
e.g. sharp rock, nail, change plate, etc...

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Dumpy level

Tilting level

Automatic level

## The differences between the three types of levels are the

way in which the instruments are designed to be adjusted
to give a horizontal line.

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Dumpy level

## Telescope is rigidly attached to a horizontal bar that

houses the level tube.

## Spindle revolves in the socket of a levelling head controlled

in position by four levelling screws.

## Ball-and-socket joint, which permits a flexible connection

between the instrument proper and the foot plate.

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Dumpy level

## The line of sight of the instrument is the line fixed by the

intersection of the cross-wires and the centre of the
objective lens.

## When the instrument is in proper adjustment, the line of

sight is parallel to the axis of the level tube.

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Tilting level

## This design enables the operator to quickly and accurately

centre the bubble and thus bring the line of sight into a
horizontal plane.

## A tilting screw is provided to raise or lower the eyepiece

end of the telescope.

## When the bubble is off-centred, a split image of the two

ends of the bubble is seen through the viewing microscope.

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Tilting level

## When the bubble is well centred, the two images coincide

to form a continuous U-shaped curve.

## This arrangement permits the accurate centring of the

bubble from the normal observing position of the
operator.

## Once coincidence is achieved, the line of sight should be in

a horizontal position.

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Automatic level

## The distinctive feature of this type of level is an internal

compensator that automatically makes horizontal the line of
sight and maintains it in that position through the
application of the force of gravity.

## As soon as the instrument is levelled by means of a circular

bubble, the movable component of the compensator swings
free to a position that makes the line of sight horizontal.

## For the best performance of the compensator, it is always

essential to accurately centre the circular bubble and to

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Automatic level

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## Accessories of level instrument

Tripod

Levelling staff
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0.339
0.33
0.3

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Principles of levelling

## The levelling procedure involves:

Observation procedures

Booking procedures

Reduction procedures

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Levelling procedures

## Set up the level anywhere in-between the benchmark and

the change point TP1 such that the two are visible (not
necessarily in the same line).

## TP1 is the change point

The process of taking B.S and F.S. reading is repeated till the
point BM Oak is reached.

## Enter last station reading in the fore sight.

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Levelling procedures

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Principles of levelling

or TBM)

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A sample loop
Setup 4
CP 3

BM A

Kerb
Setup 1

Setup 3

Kerb
Setup 2

CP 1
CP 2
Post
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CP 3

BM A

Back

Inter

Fore

1.32

Point
BM A

3.98

Kerb

CP 1

Setup 1
Kerb

CP 1
CP 2
Post
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CP 3

BM A

Back

Inter

Fore

1.32
2.56

Kerb
Setup 1
Kerb

Point
BM A

3.98

CP 1

1.25

Kerb

3.65

Post
0.67

CP 2

Setup 2

CP 1
CP 2
Post
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CP 3

BM A

Back

Inter

Fore

1.32
2.56
Kerb
Setup 1

Setup 3
Kerb

3.98

CP 1

1.25

Kerb

3.65

Post
0.67

3.49
Setup 2

Point
BM A

CP 2
Kerb

2.58
1.54

CP 3

CP 1
CP 2
Post
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Setup 4
CP 3

BM A

Back

Inter

Fore

1.32

Setup 1

BM A

2.56

Kerb
Setup 3
Kerb

3.98

Kerb

3.65

Post
0.67

2.58

2.64
CP 1

CP 1

1.25
3.49

Setup 2

Point

CP 2
Kerb

1.54

CP 3

3.79

BM A

CP 2
Post
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Back

Inter

Fore

Rise

Fall

1.32

RL
50.00

2.56

3.98

Comment
BM A
CP 1

1.25

Kerb

3.65

Post

3.49

0.67

CP 2

2.58
2.64

Kerb
1.54

CP 3

3.79

BM A

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Back

Inter

Fore

Rise

Fall

1.32
2.56

BM A

47.34

CP 1

48.65

Kerb

46.25

Post

2.98

49.23

CP 2

0.91

50.14

Kerb

1.04

51.18

CP 3

50.03

BM A

2.66
1.31

3.65
3.49

2.40
0.67

2.58
2.64

1.54
3.79

10.01

9.98
(0.03)

Comment

50.00
3.98
1.25

RL

1.15
6.24

6.21
(0.03)

(0.03)

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## Reducing levels (Height of collimation)

Back

Inter

Fore

Height of
Collimation

RL

51.32

50.00

BM A

49.90

47.34

CP 1

1.25

48.65

Kerb

3.65

46.25

Post

49.23

CP 2

50.14

Kerb

51.18

CP 3

50.03

BM A

1.32
2.56

3.98

3.49

0.67

52.72

2.58
2.64

1.54
3.79

10.01

53.82

9.98
(0.03)

Comment

(0.03)

Height of Collimation = RL + BS

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Loop misclosure

Misclosure

## The amount by which the measured height difference

(Hmeas) differs from the known height difference derived
from the RLs of the starting and finishing benchmarks
(Hknown)
Misclosure = Hknown - Hmeas

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An acceptable misclose?

## Small misclosures in closed level loops are expected

because of the accumulation of errors

repeated

## Misclosures can also result from errors in published BM

levels and from BM instability

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## The amount of misclosure we are prepared to accept

depends on the accuracy we are hoping to achieve

## For routine levelling, the third order levelling standard is

misclosure 12k mm
where k is the length of the loop in km
misclosure 5n mm

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12(0.7) = 10 mm

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## Adjustment is carried out to ensure that the measured and

known RLs of the closing benchmark agree

## The misclosure is linearly distributed according to the

number of set-ups

(0.03/4)...

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Measured RL

Point

50.00

BM A

47.34

CP 1

48.65

Kerb

46.25

Post

49.23

CP 2

50.14

Kerb

51.18

CP 3

50.03

BM A

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Measured RL

Point

50.00

BM A

0.000

50.000

47.34

CP 1

0.008

47.332

48.65

Kerb

46.25

Post

49.23

CP 2

50.14

Kerb

51.18

CP 3

50.03

BM A

=1*(0.03/4)

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Measured RL

Point

50.00

BM A

0.000

50.000

47.34

CP 1

0.008

47.332

48.65

Kerb

0.015

48.635

46.25

Post

0.015

46.235

49.23

CP 2

0.015

49.215

50.14

Kerb

51.18

CP 3

50.03

BM A

=2*(0.03/4)

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Measured RL

Point

50.00

BM A

0.000

50.000

47.34

CP 1

0.008

47.332

48.65

Kerb

0.015

48.635

46.25

Post

0.015

46.235

49.23

CP 2

0.015

49.215

50.14

Kerb

0.023

50.117

51.18

CP 3

0.023

51.157

50.03

BM A

=3*(0.03/4)
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Measured RL

Point

50.00

BM A

0.000

50.000

47.34

CP 1

-0.008

47.332

48.65

Kerb

-0.015

48.635

46.25

Post

-0.015

46.235

49.23

CP 2

-0.015

49.215

50.14

Kerb

-0.023

51.18

CP 3

-0.023

50.03

BM A

-0.030

=4*(0.03/4)
50.000
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Measured RL

Point

50.00

BM A

0.000

50.000

47.34

CP 1

-0.008

47.332

48.65

Kerb

-0.015

48.635

46.25

Post

-0.015

46.235

49.23

CP 2

-0.015

49.215

50.14

Kerb

-0.023

50.117

51.18

CP 3

-0.023

51.157

50.03

BM A

-0.030

50.000

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## Other form of leveling

Trigonometric leveling

## The difference in elevation between two points can also be

determined by measuring

## the inclined or horizontal distance between them.

the zenith angle of the vertical angle to one point from the other

## Vertical angles are measured up or down from horizontal

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Trigonometric leveling
S = slope distance
z = zenith angle
=vertical angle
V = elevation difference
V = S . cos z
V = S . sin
V = H . cot z
V = H . tan
elev = hi + V + r
hi = height of instrument
H = horizontal distance

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Errors in levelling

Collimation

Parallax

## Change point instability

Instrument instability

Staff instability

Benchmark instability

Refraction

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Errors in levelling

## Staff reading and interpolation errors

Staff verticality

Temperature on staff

Earth curvature

## Magnetic field effects on auto level

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Collimation error

## Occurs when the line of sight (as defined by the cross-hairs)

is not horizontal

error
horizontal line

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Two-peg test

## Allows the collimation error to be determined

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Applications of levelling

Contouring

Setting out

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New point

Benchmark

RLNEW

RLBM
Datum

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DH3
DH2
Benchmark

DH1

RLBM
Datum

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## Profiles and cross-sections

Benchmark
RLBM
Datum

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Plotting contours
2.510

2.905

## The RLs for points A, B and C have been

determined by levelling. We are now
required to determine the location of the
contours using a 0.5 m contour interval.

1.100

A
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Plotting contours
2.510

LINE AB
HAB = 2.51 - 1.10 = 1.410
DAB = 10 m
For the 1.5 m contour:
D = 10*(1.5 1.1)/1.41 = 2.84
For the 2.0 m contour :
D = 10*(2.0 - 1.1)/1.41 = 6.38

## For the 2.5 m contour :

D = 10*(2.5 - 1.1)/1.41 = 9.93
1.4

0.9
A
1.100

0.4
2.84

1.41

9.93

6.38
10 m

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Plotting contours
2.510

2.905

LINE AC
HAC = 2.905 - 1.100 = 1.805
DAC = 14.14 m
For the 1.5 m contour :
D = 14.14*(1.5 - 1.1)/1.805 = 3.13
For the 2.0 m contour :
D = 14.14*(2.0 - 1.1)/1.805 = 7.05
1.100

## For the 2.5 m contour :

D = 14.14*(2.5 - 1.1)/1.805 = 10.97
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Plotting contours
2.510

2.905

LINE BC
DHBC = 2.905 - 2.510 = 0.395
DBC = 10 m
no contours cross this line
1.100

A
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Plotting contours
2.510

1.100

2.905

A
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