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Compass Surveying

Rakesh Kumar Verma

Assistant Professor,
Civil Engineering Department, P.I.E.T.
Parul University
Definitions

 True Meridian
 True Bearing /Azimuth
 Magnetic Meridian
 Magnetic Bearing /Bearing
 Arbitrary Meridian
 Arbitrary Bearing.
 Grid Meridian
 Grid Bearing
Magnetic North

Magnetic
Meridian

TN
MN
A A
AZ MB

O O Magnetic South
Prime Meridians
Meridians North

Equator
South
Latitudes

λ=40
Equator

Longitudes

α- Longitude
λ- Latitude
Location of Man

Observer's Plane

λ
α
Equatorial Plane

Understanding of Lat. & Long.

Designation of Magnetic Bearing
(i) Whole Circle Bearing (ii) Quadrantal Bearing
(WCB) (QB)

 WCB
N  QB
N
NW NE
A
A

O O
O
W E W E
SE
SW
B
S B S
Clockwise rotation has to be followed
Bearing

 Similar to Quadrant  Depended on direction

Bearing of main survey line N
BB FB
 Obtained when, North

BM

WCB Convert QB A B

Direction of Survey
N
WCB-----QB

=S 40ᵒW

O
W E
α

S
A

Reduced Bearing (RB)

360ᵒ-α=φ N WCBNE
WCBNW

α=φ

W E

α-180ᵒ=φ
WCBSW 180ᵒ-α=φ
S
WCBSE

Conversion of WCB to RB
RBNW

360ᵒ- φ3=α N RB NE

α=φ

φ3 φ

W E

φ2
RB SW φ1
φ2+180ᵒ= α RB SE

S 180ᵒ-φ1= α

Conversion of RB to WCB
Fore Bearing & Back Bearing

FB FB

A B

 Bearing taken in backward direction of survey

line- BB
BB

A B
Magnetic Declination

 The Horizontal Angle Between the Magnetic

Meridian and True Meridian is known as
‘magnetic declination’.

 When the north end of the magnetic needle is

pointed towards the west side of the true meridian,
the position is termed ‘Declination West’ ().

 When the north end of the magnetic needle is

pointed towards the east side of the true meridian,
the position is termed ‘Declination East’
True North

W
E

S E

Magnetic Declination
Isogonic and Agonic Lines

 Lines Passing Through Points Of Equal

Declination are known as ‘isogonic’ lines.
 The Survey of India Department has prepared a map
of India in which the isogonic and agonic lines are
shown properly as a guideline to conduct the
compass survey in different parts of the country.
Isogonic and Agonic Lines
Inclination
from the
horizontal
plane

Zero
inclination at
the equator

Dip of the Magnetic

Needle
Dip of the Magnetic Needle
Local Attraction
 Error introduced in direction of magnetic needle due to
magnetic materials such as iron ore, steel structures,
electric cables conveying current; etc.
 Then it does not show the actual north. This
phenomenon is known as ‘local attraction’.
 If
FB-BB= 180 degrees Free from local attraction

FB-BB≠ 180 degrees Error of local attraction

 Error compensation
 Divide equally in FB & BB
Example

For example, consider the case when

Observed FB of AB = 60030’

Observed BB of AB = 24000’

Hence, Corrected FB of AB = 240015’ – 18000’ = 60015’

Principle of Compass Surveying

 Traversing, which Involves A Series of Connected Lines.

 The magnetic bearings of the lines are measured by prismatic
compass and
 The distances of the lines are measured by chain.
 Such survey does not require the formation of a network of
triangles.

 Interior details are located by taking offsets from the main survey
lines. Sometimes subsidiary lines may be taken for locating these
details.

 Compass surveying is not recommended for areas where local

attraction is suspected due to the presence of magnetic substances
like steel structures, iron ore deposits, electric cables conveying
current, and so on.
TRAVERSING
 Well Defined Network of Connected Lines
 The sides of the traverse are known as ‘traverse legs’.

 Measurements
Lengths of Lines Chain
Directions Compass or Theodolite

 A traverse may be of two types –

 Closed traverse
1. closed loop (i.e. when the finishing point coincides with the starting
point
 Open traverse
1. connected lines extends along a general direction and does not return to
the starting point,
2. Open traverse is suitable for the survey of roads, rivers, coast lines, etc
Methods of Traversing

 Chain traversing (by chain angle)

 Compass traversing (by free needle)
 Theodolite traversing (by fast needle) and
 Plane table traversing (by plane table)
Check on Angular Measurements
(a) The sum of the measured Interior Angles should be
equal to (2N – 4) x 90ᵒ where N is the number of sides of
the traverse.

(b) The sum of the measured Exterior Angles should be

equal to (2N + 4) x 90ᵒ

equal to 360ᵒ

Right-hand deflection is considered positive and left-hand

deflection negative.
Check on Linear Measurement

(a) The lines should be measurement once each on two

different days (along opposite directions). Both
measurements should tally.

(b) Linear measurements should also be taken by the

stadia method. The measurements by chaining and by
Check on Open Traverse

 No Direct checks available, but following

1. Taking cut-off lines
2. Taking an auxiliary point
N
F

N C
N
N
B
D
E

A For Check
Cut-off lines are taken between some intermediate stations of the open traverse.
Let AD and DG be the cut-off lines. The lengths and magnetic bearings of the cut-off
lines are measured accurately. After plotting the traverse, the distances and bearings
are noted from the map. These distances and bearings should tally with the actual
records from the field
Taking Cut-off Lines
N
N
D
B
N
N

C E
N

P
A permanent point ‘P’ is selected on one side of it. If the survey is carried out
accurately and so is the plotting, all the measured bearings of P when plotted should
meet at the point P. The permanent point P is known as the ‘auxiliary point’
Taking an Auxiliary Point
Types of Compass

The prismatic compass The Surveyor’s compass

Construction
Zero degree marked at
South and 90 degree at
North

Vanes

Eye Vane

Bubble Tube Guide Vane

Magnetic Needle
Fixed
Plane

Circular
Metal Box
Dia.-8 to
10cm
Screw
Sr. Base Of
No. Comparison Prismatic Compass Surveyor Compass

1 First look Prism at one end and slit on No prism only Slit at both
other end

2 Use of Tripod May or may not use along, Use of Tripod stand is
Stand Steady hold in hand also give necessary
good results
3 Observation/ Taken with help of prism Directly read from top of
Readings provided by eye slit compass

4 Magnetic Does not act as index Act as index

Needle
5 Graduation WCB system QB system
6 Graduation Appear inverted from top, Mark directly Zero at North
marking Zero at south & 180 degrees and 90 degree at East
at north
7 Graduated Attached with needle, Does Permanently attached with
circle not rotate with line of sight box, rotates with line of sight
Comparison between

Prismatic Compass and Surveyor Compass

 Centering
 Levelling
 Focusing
2. Bisecting/Observation of bearing
Angle AOB=φ2-φ1 Angle AOC= φ3-φ1 Angle BOC= φ3-φ2

φ1 North
φ2
φ3

B A
O

Determination of Reduced Bearing

Included Angles BAC= φ2 Field Work
Included Angles ACB=φ3
Included Angles ABC=φ4

North

φ1

φ2 φ4
φ3

Dist. AB
B A