Surveying - Module iii-levelling only note
Post on 20-Mar-2017
OPTC Edavanna Page 1
MODULE III : Levelling
1. Define levelling?
It is a branch of surveying the object
(i) To find the elevations of points
(ii) To establish points based on assumed datum
or is defined as art/science of determining relative heights of different points on,
above, or below earth surface.
2. Define the following terms used in levelling:
(i) Datum (ii) Mean sea level (iii) Bench mark
(iv) Level surface (v) Level line
Datum: It is any surface to which elevations (heights) are referred. or the imaginary
surface with reference to which vertical distances of points (on, above, or below) are
measured. eg: MSL
Mean Sea Level (MSL): It is the datum adopted by GTS department of India
Bench mark:It is fixed reference point of known elevation w.r.t any datum
Level Surface: It is a curved surface which at each point is perpendicular to the
direction of gravity at that point.
It is perpendicular to the plumb line
It is parallel to the earth surface
It is a line lying on level surface
It is perpendicular to the plumb line (direction of gravity)
3. Write a note on levelling instruments? Explain.
Which is the smallest division of the levelling staff?
Differentiate between telescopic levelling staff and target staff?
Orphanage Polytechnic College, Edavanna REVISION PACKAGE
Surveying - I ( Revision 2015)
OPTC Edavanna Page 2
LEVEL: Instrument used to furnish horizontal line of sight for observing staff
readings and determining reduced levels
1. Dumpy level:
Simple, compact and stable instrument
Telescope rigidly fixed to its supports
It cannot be rotated about horizontal axis
2. Wye (Y) level: Telescope is carried by two vertical wye supports
3. Tilting level: Telescope tilt about its horizontal axis. It is also called as IOP
(Indian Office Pattern) level
4. Automatic level: Telescope tilt about its horizontal axis
It is also called as IOP (Indian Office Pattern) level
Levelling staffs are scales on which the distances are measured
Straight rectangular rod having graduations
Bottom of levelling staff represents zero reading
The smallest division of a levelling staff is 5 mm
A. Self-reading staff: A staff on which readings are directly read by the observer
through the telescope. They are three types
1. Solid staff
2. Folding staff
3. Telescopic staff
1. Solid staff:
Made of well-seasoned wood
3 m length
Greater accuracy in reading, so used in precise levelling
No Hinge joints
Difficult to carry to field
2. Folding staff
Also called as Hinged staff
Hinge joints present
4 m length
Can be folded into 2 m length
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Thickness of graduations = 5 mm
3. Telescopic staff
Three lengths placed one into the other
Extended to full length by pulling
Smallest division is 5 mm
4 m length
Values in meter (Red - left side) and decimeter (Black - right side) are
marked on it.
B. Target Staff:
A staff which contains a target is called target staff
For taking readings, the level man directs the staff
man to raise or lower the target till it is bisected
by line of sight.
The staff man clamps the target and takes reading.
4. What are the advantage sof dumpy level over wye level?
Simpler construction with few movable parts
Fewer adjustments to be made
Longer life of the adjustments
5. What are the merits and demerits of self-reading staff?
Easier and Quicker to read a self-reading staff
The reading on a self-reading staff are taken by the leveler himself
For holding the staff, no experience required, no knowledge required
Accuracy is less than that of target staff.
The leveler have all responsibilities in taking reading
6. What are the merits and demerits of target staff?
The reading with target staff can be taken with greater fineness (more
The leveller and staff man have the responsibility in taking the reading
Vernier is provided on target staff for accurate reading
It is difficult to adjust the target, so that the line of sight bisects the target
The staff man is responsible in marking the reading
So, for holding the staff, an experienced staff man is required
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7. What is mean by curvature and refraction correction?
For long sights and accurate levelling work, the effects of the line of sight shall have
to be taken into consideration. Due to curvature of earth, the points appear to be
lower than they actually are. While due to refraction, they appear to be higher than
they actually are. The effects of curvature being greater than that of refraction, the
combined effect causes the points to appear to be lower than they actually are.
PC = apparent staff reading
PB = True staff reading
BC = correction for curvature
R = Radius of earth = 6370 km
Error due to curvature of earth
is considered when the disyance
The line of sight is horizontal, but the level line is curved and parallel to the
The vertical distance b/w the line of sight and level line at a particular point is
called curvature correction
Effect of curvature is to cause the object sighted to appear lower than they
curvature correction is always negative
OC2 = OA
2 + AC
(R+CC)2 = R
2 + d
R2 + 2.R.CC +CC
2 = R
2 + d
2.R.CC = d2
Ray of light passes through air layers of different densities. They donot
remain straight, but are refracted and bend downward towards denser medium.
Refraction correction is assumed as 1/7 times the curvature correction.
Curvature correction, CC =
(subtractive) = 0.0784 d2
OPTC Edavanna Page 5
Combined correction = Curvature correction (-ve) + Refraction correction
(subtractive) = 0.06728d2
Combined correction is subtractive
8. An observer standing on the deck of a ship just sees the top of a light house. The
top of the light house is 30 m above sea level and the height of the observers
eye is 5 m above the sea level. Find the distance of the sailor from the light
d = d1 + d2
= 29.60 m
9. Explain errors in levelling?
The errors in levelling are mainly 3 types,
(i) Instrumental error
(ii) Personal error
(iii) Natural error
Instrumental error Personal error Natural error Error due to imperfect
Mistakes in manipulation Earths curvature
Error due to sluggish
Mistake in rod handling Atmospheric refraction
Error due to movement of
Mistakes in reading the rod Variations in temperature
Rod not of standard length Errors in sighting Settlement of tripod or
Error due to defective joint Mistakes in recording Wind vibrations
10. Define sensitivity of bubble tube. How the sensitiveness of bubble tube can be
It is the capacity of a level tube to exhibit small deviation from the horizontal
Also defined as the angular value of one division of the bubble tube.
The sensitivity of a bubble tube can be increase by
o Increasing the internal radius of the tube
o Increasing the diameter of the tube
o Increasing the length of the bubble
o Decreasing the roughness of the wall
o Decreasing the viscosity of the liquid
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11. The following readings were observed with a level 1.150 (BM 37.430), 1.930,
2.810, 4.000, CP 1.520, 2.440, 0.730, 0.490, CP 4.000, 3.160, 1.800, 0.7000.
Reduce the levels by height of collimation method. Apply check.
Method I: Rise and Fall method
Last RL First RL = 38.91 37.430 =1.48
BS - FS = 6.67 5.19 = 1.48
Rise - Fall = 5.25 3.77 = 1.48
Method II: Height of Instrument method (HI or HC method)
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Last RL First RL = 38.91 37.430 =1.48
BS - FS = 6.67 5.19 = 1.48
12. Following series of readings of BS and FS was taken in a fly levelling. The first
reading was taken on a point of RL 100.000 m. Draw a page of levelling field-
book and enter readings in it. Find the RLs of all points. Apply check.
1.235, 1.396, 2.345, 1.986, 2.148, 3.755, 0.325, 2.568, 1.465, 2.435, 1.356, 0.768,
Last RL First RL =
BS - FS =
Rise - Fall =
13. The following staff readings were taken with a level. The instrument was moved
after the fourth and the seventh readings. Calculate the reduced levels of the
points and find level difference between the first and last points. The first
reading was taken on a BM of +100.000 m. Use HC method.
0.875, 2.625, 1.050, 2.185, 1.850, 0.885, 1.375, 2.180, 0.855, 2.200 [refer note]
14. The following staff readings were recorded for a certain work of levelling 1.810,
2.110, 1.225, 1.455, 0.905, 2.435, 2.810, 2.675, and 1.765. The level was shifted
readings. The first reading was taken on a BM of RL 50.000 m.
Rule out a page of level book and enter the readings
(i) Work out the RL of all stations
(ii) If the staff were held inverted and readings on a ceiling from last instrument
position was 3.500 m, Find the RL of ceiling. [refer note]
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15. During a construction work, the bottom of an RC sunshade A was taken as a
temporary BM (RL 63.120). The following notes were recorded.
Reading of inverted staff on BM No.A = 2.232
Reading on peg P on ground = 1.034
Change of instrument
Reading of peg P on ground = 1.328
Reading an inverted staff on bottom of cornice B = 4.124
Enter the readings in a level book page and calculate the RL of cornice B.
16. What is a bench mark? What are the different types of BM?
Bench mark: It is fixed reference point of known elevation w.r.t any datum. There
are four types of bench marks.
1. GTS (Great Trignometrical Survey) BM
2. Permanent BM
3. Arbitrary BM
4. Temperory BM
GTS (Great Trignometrical Survey) BM
Established by Survey of India
Established with higher accuracy
Based on MSL at Bomabay High
Fixed in b/w GTS bench marks
By govt. agencies like railways, PWD
Written on permanent objects like milestones, railways, bridges, etc.
Value clearly written
These are reference points whose RLs are arbitrarily assumed
Used for small works
Reference points established temporarily whenever required
Generally chosen to close days work and to start next days.
Also if there is a break in work
Marked on objects like stone, trees,..
OPTC Edavanna Page 9
17. The following staff readings were taken with a level. The instrument was moved
after third, sixth, and eighth readings. Calculate the RL of points, if the first
reading was taken by a staff held on a BM 75.000 m. Use HC method.
0.765, 1.825, 1.050, 1.885, 1.850, 0.995, 1.375, 2.250, 0.765, 2.200
18. The staff readings recorded for a work are 1.205, 1.710, 2.500, 0.230, 0.910,
2.100, 2.800, 0.310, 1.820, 2.915. The first reading was taken at BM 140.000.
Rule out a page of field book in rise and fall method and find the average slope
between the points. The instrument was shifted after the fourth and eighth
reading. The distance between first and last station is 1500 m.
19. What are the adjustments done at every set-up of levelling instruments?
20. What are the temporary adjustments in levelling?
21. What are the points should be observed while conducting levelling work?
Adjustments done at every setting of levelling instrument are called temperory
adjustments. They are
(i) Setting out: Fixing the instrument on tripod and levelling it approx by tripod
(ii) Levelling up: Accurate levelling using foot screws and to make the vertical axis
truly vertical. It is done as below,
Loose the clamp and turn the instrument such that telescope is
parallel to two of the foot screws. Turn level screws and level it.
Turn the telescope 900 so that telescope is parallel to the third
screw. Turn the level screw until the bubble comes in the center of
(iii) Elimination of parallax: Parallax is a condition arising when the image formed
by the objective is not in the plane of cross hairs. It is eliminated by focusing
the objective and eyepiece.
22. What is balancing of sights? What is its importance in the field?
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In the above fig, let the observations be made with a level in which the line of
collimation is inclined upward by an amount from horizontal. When the bubble is
in the centre of its run, the level being kept exactly mid-way b/w the two points A &
B. The observed back sight and fore sight are x1 and x2. The correct BS on A will be
equal to x1 y1, where y1 = D1tan . The correct fore sight on B will be equal to
x2 y2, where y2 = D2tan . Hence the correct difference b/w A & B is
= (x1 y1) (x2 y2)
= (x1 y1 ) + (y2 y1)
= (x1 x2) + ( D2tan - D1tan )
= (x1 x2), if D1 =D2
Errors eliminated by balancing:
The error due to non-parallelism of line of collimation and axis of bubble tube
The error due to curvature and refraction may be eliminated if the length of two
sights can be made equal.
23. Distinguish between two methods of booking and reducing the elevation of
points from the observed staff readings.
24. Describe the HI method and rise and fall method of computing the levels.
Discuss the merits and demerits of each.
25. What are the two systems of reduction of levels? Explain.
The observed staff readings as noted in a level book are further required to be
manipulated to find out the elevation of points. The operation is known as reduction
of level. There are two methods for reduction of levels:
HI = BM + BS
RL of A = HI - FS (or IS)
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26. Draw a neat diagram of component parts of a levelling instrument? Describe
the function of its salient parts?
Telescope : Used to sight and read staff readings
Diaphragm : Holds the cross hairs (fitted with telescope)
Focussing screws : Separate focussing screws for eye piece and objective.
Eye piece : Magnifies the image formed in the plane of the diaphragm and thus to
read staff during leveling.
Level Tube : Used to make the axis of the telescope horizontal and thus the
line of sight.
Levelling screws : To adjust instrument (level) so that the line of sight is horizontal
for any orientation of the telescope.
Tripod stand : To fix the instrument (level) at a convenient height of an observer.