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# Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Introduction: Levelling is a means by which surveyors can determine the elevation of points, using other known points as references. Levelling is perhaps the most basic of surveying operations and forms an important fundamental part of almost every surveying project. Department of Civil Engineering, UBC

Equipment: Levelling is carried out by the use of: a Spirit Level, often called an Engineers Level, and a level rod. The level rod resembles a large fold-up ruler but is not accurately referred to as such.

Basics of Levelling: In levelling, the surveyor looks back (BS) to a point of known elevation to determine the elevation of his or her instrument (EI). The surveyor then looks forward (FS) to a point of unknown elevation and determines the elevation of that point using the elevation of his or her instrument (EI) and the value on the level rod read through the levels telescope.

BS
1.600

EI = 81.600

FS
1.739

80.000 BM

79.861

Point A

Once the elevation of a point is determined, that point can be used for determining the elevations of other points. In this way, the surveyor may leap-frog forward, eventually determining the elevations of points that are impractical from the initial location, and developing greater accuracy by means of a closed traverse.

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Department of Civil Engineering, UBC

FS BS

SII SIII

BS FS FS BM
2.861

IS

BS

IS

SI

79.099

IP

64

BS
1.600

EI = 81.600

BS FS
1.739 2.099

EI = 81.960

FS BS
1.610 1.274

EI = 81.624

FS
1.523

80.000 BM
27 36

31 30

TP2

80.101

BM

80.000

26

18

SI

SII

SIII

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Sample Traverse Data: STATION BM SI to BM SI to TP1 SII to TP1 SII to IP SII to TP2 SIII to TP2 SIII to BM
1.274 81.624 1.523 80.101 1.610 2.099 81.960 2.861 79.099 80.350 1.600 81.600 1.739 79.861

BS

ELEV. INST.

FS

IS

ELEV.
80.000

LENGTH

CORR. EL.

## 27 36 31 64 30 26 18 80.000 from peg test 79.024 79.823

Surveyors accumulate levelling data in a specific fashion. This format ensures that all the relevant data is preserved and none is lost. Calculations are performed as you go, making mistakes easier to detect. This is important in levelling since a turning point may not be marked to revisit in case of error. Sample Correction Calculations: (B.S. F.S.) = 4.973 4.872 = 0.101 m This is the closure error.

Adjust on basis of shot lengths. shot lengths = 168 m (exclude ISs from this) BM to TP1 = 63 m BM to TP2 = 63 + 61 BM to BM = 63 + 61 + 44 correction (63/168) 0.101 = 0.038 correction (124/168) 0.101 = 0.075 correction (168/168) 0.101 = 0.101

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Accuracy in Levelling: In levelling, we want to determine the difference in elevation between A and B. However, a Spirit Level may not be perfectly aligned that is, the telescope may not be aligned correctly with the level plane described by the level bubble. Department of Civil Engineering, UBC

eA

## error angle, theta eB

a aT

bT

B A

dA

dB

Definitions:
d A = length of shot to A d B = length of shot to B a = actual reading at A b = actual reading at B e A = error component at A due to telescope misalignme nt e B = error component at B due to telescope misalignme nt aT = reading at A seen through telescope bT = reading at B seen through telescope

a = aT ea ea = d A tan

and and

b = bT eb eb = d B tan

a b = [aT d A tan ] [bT d B tan ] a b = (aT bT ) + (d B d A ) tan therefore : a b = aT bT only if [tan = 0] and/or

[d B d A ] = 0

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Levelling the Peg Test:
Setup 1: Equal shot lengths to A and B. (ie: dA=dB)
a b

## Department of Civil Engineering, UBC

Therefore: (a-b) is
B A

accurate

dA

dB

a' b'

B A

dA'

dB'

## (a b ) (a'b') = tan 1 (d B' d A ' )

Peg Test results are reported in degrees and as slopes. A useful way to express peg test results is in the units of ____ mm (high/low) per m length of shot. These results are used to determine how careful you must be balancing FSs and BSs, as well as to correct intermediate shots. (ISs)

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Definitions: Term Plumb or Vertical Line Level Surface Horizontal Surface Elevation Difference in Elevation of two points Datum Benchmark Levelling Spirit Level/Engineers Level Backshot (BS) Foreshot (FS) Turning Point Intermediate Shot Peg Test Elevation of Instrument (EI) Balancing shots Closure Error Department of Civil Engineering, UBC Here are definitions for some commonly used terms related to levelling and basic surveying: Definition the line at any point on the earths surface which follows the gravity vector down towards the centre of the earth a surface that is everywhere perpendicular to vertical lines a plane perpendicular to a vertical line and perpendicular to a level surface the vertical distance above or below a given reference level surface The vertical distance between the two level surfaces containing the two points An assigned or assumed reference level surface A permanent or semi-permanent physical location of known or assigned elevation A surveying operation carried out to determine the elevation of points or to find the difference in elevation of points A surveying instrument used to carry out levelling A sighting with a level back to a point of known elevation A sighting with a level to determine the elevation of a point A point at which you have establised an elevation with FS and on which you will subsequently take a BS A foreshot to a point at which you want to know the elevation but which will not be used as a turning point Surveying operation carried out to determine if the levelling bubble and telescope line-of-sight are parallel Elevation of the telescope cross-hairs Attempt when doing a levelling survey to keep the lengths of FS and BS at any given instrument setup as close as possible. Difference in elevation determined from the levelling survey and the known elevation of a benchmark.

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Map of exercise field: Osborne I: Department of Civil Engineering, UBC

Osborne II:

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## Plane Surveying Levelling

Civil Engineering 235 Points covered by the exercise: Department of Civil Engineering, UBC

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