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An Analysis of Some Regional Gravity Data in Arizona
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- An Analysis of Some Regional Gravity Data in Arizona
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- The need for accurate reference bases for any gravimetric work can hardly be overemphasized. During the months of March, April, and May, 1964, about 130 gravity observations were made in Arizona, with LaCoste Romberg Gravity Meter DL-1 and Worden Gravity Meter (Educator) No. 461. The purpose of this program was to establish 1) a 1st order control airport gravity base network, 2) a standard calibration range for the State of Arizona, and 3) to gain a structural interpretation of the Tucson Basin. Gravity data were analyzed as to their accuracies and reliabilities, taking into consideration errors involved in tidal corrections, drift corrections, reference datum, and nonlinearity of scale factor of the meters. It is concluded that the reliability of these data is .1 milligal or better. While correcting for the tidal variation of gravity, it was noticed that there was a discrepancy between the theoretical and observed tidal correction values. For any additional precise work, it is desirable to correct for tidal variations from actual records, if available, in conjunction with the theoretical tables. Causes for this discrepancy in tidal gravity variation need further study. Programs were written for a digital computer to calculate 1) the theoretical gravity values from the International Gravity Formula, and 2) Free-Air Anomalies, Bouguer Anomalies and Special Bouguer Anomalies from field data for various stations. Free-Air and Bouguer Anomaly values for different stations were analyzed as to their implications in terms of isostasy, crustal structures and local geological structures. Results from Simple Bouguer Anomaly values indicate a crustal thickness of 49 km to 33 km for Arizona with broad isostatic compensation for regional surface irregularities. An analysis of residual Bouguer gravity anomalies of the Tucson Basin in terms of local geological structures, indicates a basin and range structure for this region. The thickness of sediments ranges from more than 700 feet on the north to more than 8000 feet towards the south of the basin with faults indicated in it. Application of a limiting -depth interpretation method implies that the tops of the disturbing bodies can be no deeper than 2 miles below sea level. A total mass deficiency corresponding to the residual gravity low in this basin comes out to be 1.8 x 10¹⁷ grams according to two – dimensional form of Gauss' Theorem. This corresponds to a 135 cubic mile volume of material with a density .3 grams per cubic centimeter less than the enclosing rocks. From porosity and volume considerations of the sediments in the Tucson Basin, it is estimated that the total water holding capacity may be of the order of 4.6 x 10⁷ acre feet.
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- University of Arizona
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- Sumner, John S.
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