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CHAPTER 14

DIRECT LEVELING AND BASIC


ENGINEERING SURVEYS
Level i ng i s an operati on that i s used for
deter mi ni ng the el evati ons of poi nts or the
di fferences i n el evati on between poi nts on the
ear ths sur face. Thi s oper ati on i s extr emel y
vi tal for der i vi ng necessar y data r equi r ed
for var i ous engi neer i ng desi gns, mappi ng,
and constructi on. Data from a fi ni shed l evel
survey are used to (1) desi gn roads, hi ghways,
and ai rfi el ds; (2) devel op maps, showi ng the
general confi gurati on of the ground; (3) cal cul ate
vol ume of earthwork; and (4) l ay out construc-
ti on projects.
I n thi s chapter, we di scuss the basi c pri nci pl es
of DI RECT L EVEL I NG an d th e ty pes of
methods used; the duti es and responsi bi l i ti es of
the l evel i ng cr ew; fi el d pr ocedur es used i n
di fferenti al l evel i ng; preci si on i n l evel i ng; and
proper ways of handl i ng l evel i ng i nstruments and
equi pment. I NDI RECT LEVELI NG, such as
barometri c and tri gonometri c l evel i ng, adjustment
of l evel network, and end areas and vol ume of
earths computati ons, i s not cover ed i n thi s
book .
I n thi s chapter , you wi l l fi nd a gener al
descri pti on of basi c engi neeri ng surveys and
vari ous constructi on-si te safety hazards commonl y
associ ated wi th the EA sur vey par ty. Other
types of engi neeri ng and constructi on surveys
parti cul arl y those for curves and earthworkwi l l
be presented at the EA2 l evel .
BASIC TERMS USED IN
LEVELING OPERATIONS
Gener al l y, the basi c ver ti cal contr ol for
topographi c survey and mappi ng i s deri ved from
fi r st- and second-or der l evel i ng. For many
constructi on projects and for fi l l i ng gaps between
second-order bench marks (BMs), l ess preci se
thi rd-order l evel i ng i s acceptabl e.
I n l evel i ng, a l evel reference surface, or datum,
i s establ i shed, and an el evati on i s assi gned to
i t. Thi s datum may be assi gned an assumed
el evati on, but true el evati on i s requi red for the
establ i shment of a BM. A seri es of properl y
establ i shed BMs i s therefore the framework of any
verti cal control .
Al though fur ther di scussi on wi l l fol l ow,
fundamental l y, di r ect l evel i ng descr i bes the
method of measur i ng ver ti cal di stances (di f-
ferences i n el evati on) between the pl ane of known
or assumed el evati on (datum) and the pl ane of
a poi nt whose el evati on you are seeki ng. Once
these di stances are known, they may be added
to, or subtracted from, the known or assumed
el evati on to get the el evati on of the desi red
poi nt. These ver ti cal di stances ar e obtai ned
by use of a l evel i ng rod and, usual l y, an engi neers
l evel .
Some of the basi c terms commonl y used i n
l evel i ng operati ons are defi ned i n the fol l owi ng
paragraphs.
BENCH MARK
ABM i s a rel ati vel y permanent object, natural
or ar ti fi ci al , bear i ng a mar ked poi nt whose
el evati on i s known. BMs are establ i shed over an
area to serve as (1) starti ng poi nts for l evel i ng
oper ati ons so the topogr aphi c par ti es can
determi ne other unknown el evati on poi nts and
(2) reference marks duri ng l ater constructi on
work. BMs are cl assi fi ed as PERMANENT or
TEMPORARY. General l y, BM i s used to i ndi cate
a permanent bench mark and TBM, to si gni fy a
temporary bench mark. TBMs are establ i shed to
use for a parti cul ar job and are retai ned for the
durati on of that job. Throughout the Uni ted
States, a seri es of BMs have been establ i shed by
vari ous government agenci es. These i denti fi cati on
markers are set i n stone, i ron pi pe, or concrete
14-1
Figure 14-1.-Common types of bench mark construction
and application.
and are general l y marked to show the el evati on
above sea l evel . When the el evati on i s not
mar k ed, y ou can fi n d ou t wh at i t i s by
contacti ng the government agency that ori gi nal l y
set the BM. Just be sure you gi ve them the
same i denti fi cati on number as the one on
the mar k er . The type of standar d br onze
markers used was di scussed i n chapter 11 of
thi s trai ni ng manual .
BMs may be constructed i n several ways.
Fi gure 14-1, vi ew A, shows brass shaft stocks i n
the tops of permanent hori zontal control poi nts
(monuments). Someti mes, monuments of thi s type
are al so used for verti cal control BMs. Ori gi nal
BMs may be constructed i n the same manner.
When regul ar BM di sks are not avai l abl e, brass,
not steel , 50-cal i ber empty shel l casi ngs may be
used. The shank of the empty shel l casi ngs shoul d
be dri l l ed crosswi se and a nai l i nserted to prevent
i ts bei ng pul l ed out or forced out by ei ther
expansi on or contracti on.
For short l i nes and a l evel ci rcui t of a l i mi ted
area, any substanti al object may be used for
verti cal control BMs. The remark i n the fi el d notes
shoul d bear the proper i denti fi cati on of the BMs
used.
Fi gure 14-1, vi ew B, shows a mark l i ke those
commonl y used on tops of concr ete wal l s,
foundati ons, and the l i ke. Li nes are chi sel ed out
wi th a col d chi sel or smal l star dri l l and then
marked wi th pai nt or keel . The chi sel ed fi gures
shoul d be about the same si ze as the base area of
the rod. Preferabl y, they shoul d be pl aced on
some hi gh spot on the surface of the concrete
structure.
A spi ke may be dri ven i nto the root of a tree
or pl aced hi gher up on the trunk of the tree when
the l i mb cl earance al l ows hi gher rod readi ngs.
Fi gure 14-2, vi ew A, shows the recommended way
to do thi s. The rod shoul d be hel d on the hi ghest
edge of the spi ke, and the el evati on shoul d be
marked on the bl azed porti on of the tree. Fi gure
14-2, vi ew B, shows a spi ke dri ven on a pol e or
post that al so represents a BM. Dri ve the spi ke
i n hori zontal l y on the face of the post i n l i ne wi th
the di recti on of the l evel l i ne. For the readi ng,
hol d the rod on the uppermost edge of the spi ke.
After the el evati on has been fi gured, mark i t on
the pol e or post for future reference.
Stakes dri ven i nto the ground can al so be used
as TBMs, especi al l y i f no frost i s expected before
they are needed. A detai l ed descri pti on of these
poi nts i s just as i mportant as one for a monument
stati on.
I n most permanent mi l i tary i nstal l ati ons,
monument BMs are establ i shed i n a gri d system
approxi matel y one-hal f mi l e apart throughout
the base to have a ready reference for el evati ons
of l ater constructi on i n the stati on. General l y,
these BMs are fenced to mark thei r l ocati ons. The
fence al so serves to protect them from bei ng
acci dental l y di sturbed.
BM systems or l evel nets consi st of a seri es of
BMs that are establ i shed wi thi n a prescri bed order
of accuracy al ong cl osed ci rcui ts and are ti ed to
a datum. These nets are adjusted by computati ons
that mi ni mi ze the effects of acci dental errors and
are i denti fi ed as bei ng of a speci fi c order of
accuracy.
I n certai n areas, TI DAL BENCH MARKS
must be establ i shed to obtai n the star ti ng
datum pl ane or to check previ ousl y establ i shed
el evati ons. Ti dal bench marks are permanent BMs
14-2
set on hi gh ground and are ti ed to the ti de
stati on near the water surface.
Ti de stati ons are cl assi fi ed as pri mary and
secondary. Pri mary stati ons requi re observati ons
for peri ods of 19 yr or more to deri ve basi c ti dal
data for a l ocal i ty. Secondar y stati ons ar e
operated over a l i mi ted peri od (usual l y l ess than
1 yr) and for a speci fi c purpose, such as checki ng
el evati ons. The secondary stati on observati ons are
al ways compared to, and computed from, data
obtai ned by pri mary stati ons.
A ti de stati on i s set up, and observati ons are
made for a peri od that i s determi ned by a desi red
accuracy. These observati ons are compared wi th
a pri mary ti de stati on i n the area and, then, are
furni shed wi th a mean val ue of sea l evel i n the
ar ea.
A cl osed l oop of spi ri t l evel s i s run from the
ti de stati on over the ti dal BMs and i s ti ed back
to the ti de stati on. The accuracy of thi s l evel l i ne
must be the same as or hi gher than the accuracy
requi red for the BMs.
For permanency, ti dal BMs usual l y are set i n
sets of three and away from the shorel i ne where
natural acti vi ty or future constructi on probabl y
wi l l not di sturb or destroy them.
DATUM
Ti dal datums are speci fi c ti de l evel s that are
u s ed as s u r faces of r efer en ce for depth
measurements i n the sea and as a base for
deter mi ni ng el evati ons on l and. I n l evel i ng
oper ati ons, the ti dal datum most commonl y
used i s the MEAN SEA LEVEL. Other datums,
such as mean l ow water, mean l ower l ow water,
mean hi gh water, and mean hi gher hi gh water,
are someti mes used, dependi ng upon the purpose
of the survey. Sti l l other datums have been used
i n forei gn countri es. When conducti ng l evel i ng
operati ons overseas, you shoul d check i nto thi s
matter careful l y to avoi d mi stakes.
Mean Sea Level
Mean sea l evel (MSL) i s defi ned as the
aver age hei ght of the sea for al l stages of
the ti de after l ong per i ods of obser vati ons.
I t i s obtai ned by averagi ng the hourl y hei ghts
as they are tabul ated on a form si mi l ar to that
Figure 14-2.-Ways of using spikes as bench marks.
14-3
Figure 14-3.Sample format showing hourly heights of tide required for computing average mean sea level (MSL).
shown i n fi gure 14-3. The hei ghts on thi s form
are added both hori zontal l y and verti cal l y. The
total sum coveri ng 7 days of record i s entered i n
the l ower ri ght-hand corner of the page. The mean
for each cal endar month i s found by combi ni ng
al l dai l y sums for the month and di vi di ng by the
total number of hours i n the month. The monthl y
mean, to two deci mal pl aces, i s entered on the
sheet that i ncl udes the record for the l ast day of
the month. Yearl y means are determi ned from the
monthl y means, and a mean i s taken of al l yearl y
means for the peri od of record. Three or more
years of record shoul d be used for a good deter-
mi nati on of sea l evel . The actual val ue vari es
somewhat from pl ace to pl ace, but thi s vari ati on
i s smal l . The stati on used for MSL determi nati ons
shoul d be on the open coast or on the shore of
bays or harbors havi ng free access to the sea.
Stati ons on ti dal ri vers at some di stance from the
open sea wi l l have a MEAN RI VER LEVEL that
i s hi gher than mean sea l evel because of the
ri ver sl ope. I t shoul d be noted that mean sea
l evel i s NOT i denti cal wi th mean ti de l evel (MTL).
The l atter i s deri ved from the mean of al l hi gh
and l ow poi nts on the ti dal curve. But MSL i s
deri ved from the mean of a much l arger number
of poi nts taken at hourl y i nterval s al ong the ti dal
curve.
The datum uni versal l y used i n l evel i ng i s mean
sea l evel (MSL), and i t i s consi dered to be the zero
uni t. The verti cal di stance of a gi ven poi nt above
or bel ow thi s datum then becomes the el evati on
of that poi nt.
Other Datums
Al ong the Atl anti c coast of the Uni ted
States, the mean l ow water (MLW) datum
has been gener al l y adopted as the datum
used for hydrographi c surveys. I t i s the mean
of al l l ow water ti des obser ved over a l ong
per i od (usual l y a 19-yr per i od). Mean l ower
l ow water (MLLW) has been general I y adopted
for hydr ogr aphi c sur veys al ong the Paci fi c
coast of the Uni ted States, Hawai i , Al aska,
and the Phi l i ppi ne I sl ands. I t i s the mean
of the l ower of the two l ow water ti des for
each day observed over a l ong peri od. Mean
l ow water spri ng (MLWS) i s used on the Paci fi c
coast of the Panama Canal Zone. I t i s defi ned
as the mean of the l ow waters of the spri ng
ti des occur r i ng a day or two after a ful l
moon and i s obtai ned by subtracti ng one-hal f
of the range of the spri ng ti des from the mean
sea ti de l evel .
14-4
LEVEL PARTY ORGANIZATION,
EQUIPMENT, AND FIELD
PROCEDURES
Certai n basi c preparati ons rel ati ve to the
magni tude and compl exi ty of the job must be
performed before any l evel i ng survey i s under-
taken. Proper pl anni ng and thorough i denti fi ca-
ti on of the pr ocedur es to be fol l owed i n al l
phases of the work are essenti al to the success of
the l evel i ng oper ati on. Par ti ci pati ng i n thi s
preparatory work wi l l al so enhance the experi ence
and i ncrease the capabi l i ti es of the crew members.
Some of the preparati ons you must be fami l i ar
wi t h are di scussed i n the next several paragraphs.
LEVEL PARTY ORGANIZATION
The si ze of your l evel i ng party wi l l depend
upon such vari abl es as the order of accuracy
requi red and the number of experi enced personnel
avai l abl e. Ordi nari l y, the smal l est crew may
consi st of two i ndi vi dual s: an i nstrumentman
and a rodman. To i mprove the effi ci ency of the
l evel i ng operati ons, addi ti onal personnel are
requi red. The addi ti on of a second rodman to
al ternate on backl i ghts (BSs) and foresi ghts (FSs)
wi l l speed up l evel i ng. I f you add a recorder, the
i nstrumentman wi l l be abl e to take readi ngs as
soon as the rodmen are i n posi ti on. I n surveys
requi ri ng a shaded i nstrument, an umbrel l aman
i s requi red.
Duties of the Instrumentman
An i nstrumentman, or l evel man, runs the l evel
and makes adjustments requi red for proper opera-
ti on. He makes cer tai n that no stati ons ar e
omi tted, that turni ng poi nts (TPs) are properl y
sel ected, and that BMs are properl y establ i shed
and i denti fi ed. The l evel man i s usual l y desi gnated
by the EA1 or EAC to act as the chi ef of the party.
When a two-man l evel i ng party uses a sel f-readi ng
rod, the l evel man i s al so the recorder. However,
i f a target rod i s used, the rodman usual l y acts
as the recorder. A good l evel man keeps wi thi n the
requi red l i mi ts of error.
As chi ef of the party, you must be al ert to
recogni ze common probl ems encountered i n the
fi el d and be abl e and ready to sol ve them usi ng
the best sol uti on. Your sound judgment and
proper course of acti on i n handl i ng these fi el d
probl ems wi l l i nfl uence the qual i ty of your survey
and the meeti ng of your survey schedul es.
Handling Leveling Instruments
and Equipments
Level i ng i nstruments, as wel l as al l surveyi ng
i nstruments and equi pments, have to be accorded
the care and proper handl i ng that any del i cate
i nstr ument mer i ts. Gi ve speci al attenti on to
prevent sudden shocks, jol ts, and bumps, whi ch
wi l l cause retesti ng of the i nstrument to be
r equi r ed. A damaged or di stur bed sci enti fi c
i nstrument, however mi nor, wi l l adversel y affect
correct and accurate resul ts. As a rul e, a vi sual
i nspecti on for si gns of physi cal damage of the
i nstrument i s to be conducted before each use.
An engi neers l evel i s a preci si on i nstrument
contai ni ng many del i cate and fr agi l e par ts.
Movabl e parts shoul d, when not l ocked i n pl ace,
work easi l y and smoothl y. When a part resi sts
movement, there i s somethi ng wrong; i f you force
the part to move, you are qui te l i kel y to damage
the i nstrument. You wi l l al so cause damage by
wear i f you use excessi ve force i n ti ghteni ng
cl amps and the l i ke.
To ensure easy movement, keep threads and
beari ng surfaces on movabl e parts l ubri cated. For
the same reasons, these parts have to be kept
cl ean. Al ways cl ean the parts before oi l i ng them.
When oi l i ng the parts, use onl y fi ne i nstrument
oi l ; and do not use too much of i t. An excess of
oi l gathers dust and al so thi ckens, whi ch wi l l
i nterfere wi th free movement of the parts. Thi s
i s especi al l y true i n col d weather because l ow
temperatures cause oi l to congeal . I n col d weather,
graphi te powder i s a more sui tabl e l ubri cant than
oi l .
Keep the l evel i n i ts case when i t i s not i n use
and when you are transporti ng i t to and from the
jobsi te. The l evel screws and the cl amp screws
shoul d be ti ghtened just enough to prevent moti on
of the parts i nsi de the case. The i nstrument case
i s desi gned to reduce the effect of jarri ng and i s
strongl y made and wel l padded to protect the l evel
from damage. When transporti ng the l evel by
vehi cl e, you shoul d pl ace the carryi ng case about
mi dway between the front and rear wheel s. Thi s
i s the poi nt at whi ch the bounci ng of the wheel s
has the mi ni mum effect.
Never l i ft the i nstrument out of the carryi ng
case by graspi ng the tel escope; wrenchi ng the
tel escope i n thi s manner coul d damage a number
of del i cate parts. Al ways l i ft the i nstrument out
of the case by graspi ng the footpl ate or the l evel
bar.
When the i nstrument and the tri pod are to be
carri ed from one setup poi nt to another, l oosen
14-5
Figure 14-4.-Recommended carrying position of instrument
when obstacles may be encountered.
the l evel and cl amp screws sl i ghtl y. They shoul d
be ti ght enough to prevent the tel escope from
swi ngi ng and the i nstrument from sl i di ng on the
footpl ate, but l oose enough to al l ow a gi ve i n
case of an acci dental bump agai nst an obstacl e.
When you are carryi ng the i nstrument over
ter r ai n that i s fr ee of possi bl e contacts (for
exampl e, across an open fi el d), you may carry i t
over your shoul der l i ke a ri fl e. But when obstacl es
may be encountered, carry the i nstrument under
your arm, as shown i n fi gure 14-4.
To avoi d the effects of sunl i ght, you shoul d
use a surveyors umbrel l a or the l i ke. I f there i s
any great di fference between the worki ng and
storage temperature, the i nstrument shoul d be
al l owed to adjust i tsel f to the actual worki ng
condi ti ons for about 15 mi n before observati ons
are started.
Duties of the Rodman
The r odman must hol d the l evel i ng r od
pr oper l y i n or der to si ght on i t or r ead i t
accuratel y. Thi s i s the rodmans responsi bi l i ty.
The acti ons of a r odman i n posi ti oni ng and
hol di ng the rod wi l l affect the speed and accuracy
of the l evel i ng oper ati on, so i f you ar e the
rodman, use extreme care. I t i s al so the rodmans
responsi bi l i ty to take care of the rod duri ng and
after the l evel i ng operati on. Your duti es as a
rodman are as fol l ows:
1. Cl ean the base (or shoe) of the rod before
setti ng the rod on any
of the poi nt to ensure
rod and the poi nt.
poi nt. Al so, cl ean the top
good contact between the
Figure 14-5.-Proper stance for holding a level rod on a
bench mark while facing the instrument.
2. Pl ace the rod fi rml y on the poi nt; then
stand faci ng the i nstrument and sl i ghtl y behi nd
the rod; hol d the rod i n front of you wi th both
hands (fi g. 14-5). Space your feet about 1 ft apart
for a comfortabl e stance. Al so, make sure that
the graduati ons of the rod are ri ght si de up and
are turned towards the i nstrumentman.
3. Hol d the rod as nearl y verti cal as possi bl e,
then pl ace a rod l evel agai nst the rod, and move
the top end of the rod unti l the bubbl es are
centered. I f you do not use a rod l evel , bal ance
the rod by usi ng your fi ngerti ps to prevent i t from
fal l i ng. A properl y bal anced rod wi l l stand for
sever al seconds befor e star ti ng to fal l . Thi s
process of bal anci ng the rod verti cal l y i s known
as PLUMBI NG THE ROD.
4. Pl umb the rod and hol d i t as steady as
possi bl e duri ng strong wi nds. When thi s condi ti on
exi sts, the i nstrumentman may cal l for you, as the
rodman, to WAVE THE ROD. Wave the rod by
pi voti ng i t on i ts base and swi ngi ng i t i n a sl ow
arc toward the i nstrument and away. Keep the
shoe fi rml y seated duri ng thi s operati on. The
14-6
moti on of the rod permi ts the i nstrumentman to
read the rod when i t reaches a verti cal posi ti on
at the top of the arc and when the l owest readi ng
appears on the rod. Before or after the rod i s i n
thi s verti cal posi ti on, the rod readi ng i s greater.
5. Set the turni ng pi n or pedestal fi rml y i n
contact wi th the ground when setti ng a TP. Any
unfi rm footi ng can sag under the wei ght of the
rod and resul t i n i ncorrect readi ngs between the
FS and BS. Duri ng freezi ng and thawi ng weather
condi ti ons, the ground surface can heave i n a
comparati vel y short ti me. Pi ns and pedestal s can
be affected by the heave between the FS and the
fol l owi ng BS. For hi gher or der of accur acy
surveys, you shoul d be aware of thi s possi bi l i ty
and sel ect fi rm l ocati ons.
6. Extend the l evel i ng rod to i ts maxi mum
l ength when the i nstrumentman cal l s for extendi ng
the rod. The standard Phi l adel phi a l evel i ng rod
can be read to 7.100 ft or 2.164 meters when
col l apsed and 13.000 ft or 3.962 meters when
extended. An extended l evel i ng rod i s cal l ed a
LONG ROD.
A l evel i ng rod i s a preci si on i nstrument and
has to be treated wi th care. Most rods are made
of careful l y sel ected, ki l n-dri ed, wel l -seasoned
hardwood and have metal scal e faces on whi ch
the scal e graduati ons are pai nted. Unl ess a rod
i s al ways handl ed wi th great care, the pai nted face
wi l l become scratched, dented, or damaged i n
other ways. Accurate readi ngs on a rod that i s
damaged are di ffi cul t.
Letti ng an extended rod cl ose on the run
by al l owi ng the extended upper secti on to drop
tends to damage both secti ons of the rod and to
di spl ace the verni er. Al ways cl ose an extended rod
by easi ng down the upper secti on.
A rod wi l l read accuratel y onl y i f i t i s perfectl y
strai ght, so you must avoi d anythi ng that mi ght
bend or warp the rod. Do not l ay a rod down fl at
unl ess i t i s suppor ted thr oughout on a fl at
surface. Do not use a rod as a support or as a
l ever. Store the rod i n a dry pl ace to avoi d any
possi bl e warpi ng and swel l i ng from dampness,
and al ways wi pe a wet rod dry before stowi ng i t
away.
I f there i s mud on the rod, ri nse i t off, but
do not scrub i t. I f you have to use a soap sol uti on
to remove grease, use a mi l d sol uti on. Repeated
washi ngs wi th strong soap sol uti ons wi l l eventual l y
cause the pai nted graduati ons to fade.
FIELD PROCEDURES FOR
DIFFERENTIAL LEVELING
Level i ng operati ons requi re the teamwork of
both the i nstr umentman and the r odman to
achi eve consi stent resul ts. The accuracy of the
survey depends upon the refi nement wi th whi ch
the l i ne of si ght can be made hori zontal by the
i nstrumentman, the abi l i ty of the rodman to hol d
the rod verti cal l y, and the preci si on wi th whi ch
the r od r eadi ng i s made. Some of the basi c
procedures and preparati ons appl i cabl e to di rect
l evel i ng are presented bel ow.
Selecting Setup Points
Terrai n and atmospheri c condi ti ons are the
mai n consi derati ons affecti ng the sel ecti on of
setup poi nts. I t i s essenti al that you sel ect a poi nt
from whi ch you can best observe a rod readi ng
on the BS and FS poi nts. I n the i nterest of
bal anced shots, a setup poi nt shoul d be about
equi di stant from both BS and FS. I n addi ti on,
shorter setup di stances wi l l resul t i n smal l er
i nstrument errors caused by the atmospheri c
refracti on and curvature of the earth.
The average i nstrument hei ght at any setup i s
about 5 ft (1.5 m). On even downhi l l sl opes, the
ground where the i nstrument i s set up may not
be more than 3 to 5 ft bel ow the TP for a l evel
BS. On the FS, the extended rod can be hel d on
the gr ound about 8 ft (2.5 m) bel ow the
i nstrument ground l evel and sti l l permi t a readi ng
to be taken. Thi s means that the tendency wi l l be
to make FS di stances l onger goi ng downhi l l and
to make BSs l onger goi ng uphi l l .
Ther efor e, i t i s necessar y to conduct a
reconnai ssance of the terrai n before you start
l evel i ng. You shoul d note pr obabl e l ocati ons
of i nstr ument setup and TPs. Dur i ng the
reconnai ssance, you shoul d esti mate the l i ne of
si ght by si ghti ng through a hand l evel .
Setting Up a Level
I n setti ng up the tri pod, you fi rst hol d two
tri pod l egs wi th both hands and spread the ti ps
of these l egs a conveni ent di stance apart. Then
bri ng the thi rd l eg to a posi ti on that approxi matel y
l evel s the top of the protector cap when the
tri pod stands on al l three l egs. Then unscrew the
protector cap.
Next, you l i ft the i nstr ument out of the
carryi ng case by the footpl ate or l evel bar, NOT
by the tel escope, and set i t gentl y and squarel y
14-7
on the tri pod head threads. Rotate the footpl ate
countercl ockwi se one-fourth turn or unti l the
i nstrument seats i tsel f; then rotate i t cl ockwi se to
engage the head nut threads to the tri pod head
threads. I f the threads do not engage smoothl y,
they are cross-threaded. Do not force the head
i f you encounter resi stance, but back i t off, square
up the i nstrument, and try agai n gentl y to engage
the threads. When they engage, screw the head
nut up fi rml y but not too ti ghtl y. Setti ng up the
i nstrument too ti ghtl y causes eventual weari ng of
the threads, maki ng unthreadi ng di ffi cul t.
After you have attached the i nstrument, i f you
are set up on stabl e soi l , thrust the tri pod l egs
ti ps i nto the ground far enough to be sure of a
stabl e support, taki ng care to keep the footpl ate
appr oxi matel y l evel . Some tr i pods have l egs
equi pped wi th short metal sti rrups. These sti rrups
Figure 14-6.-Two ways of preventing tripod legs from
spreading on hardened surface.
al l ow you to force the l egs ti ps i nto the ground
by foot pressure.
I f you are set upon a hardened surface, such
as concrete, make sure the tri pod l egs do not
acci dental l y spread, causi ng the tri pod to col l apse.
I n fi gure 14-6, vi ew A, the l egs ti ps are i nserted
i n cracks i n a concrete pavement. I n fi gure 14-6,
vi ew B, they are hel d by an equi l ateral wooden
tri angl e cal l ed a fl oor tri angl e.
Leveling the Engineers Level
As a r odman, you must concentr ate on
keepi ng your rod perfectl y pl umb. Readi ngs on
a r od that i s out of pl umb ar e i naccur ate.
Si mi l arl y, as a l evel man, you must constantl y
bear i n mi nd that the l i ne of si ght through
the tel escope must be perfectl y l evel i n every
di recti on or every readi ng you make wi th the
i nstrument wi l l be i naccurate. After you i ni ti al l y
pl ace the i nstrument, l evel i t careful l y as fol l ows:
Trai n the tel escope i n l i ne wi th a pai r of l evel
screws and mani pul ate the l evel screws by turni ng
them i n opposi te di recti ons, as shown i n fi gure 14-7,
unti l the bubbl e i n the l evel vi al i s i n the exact
center. I t i s hel pful to know that the bubbl e i n the
l evel vi al wi l l move i n the di recti on that your l eft
thumb moves. To put thi s another way: When you
turn the l eft-hand screw cl ockwi se, the bubbl e
moves to your l eft; when you turn the l eft-hand
screw countercl ockwi se, i t moves to your ri ght.
When the bubbl e i s centered wi th the tel escope
over one pai r of screws, trai n the tel escope over
the other pai r and repeat the process. As a check,
swi ng the tel escope over each pai r of screws i n
al l four possi bl e posi ti ons to make sure the
bubbl e i s centered i n each posi ti on.
Making Direct Readings
The i nstrumentman makes a di rect rod readi ng
as vi ewed di rectl y on the graduati on of the rod
(sel f-readi ng) that i s i n l i ne wi th the hori zontal
Figure 14-7.-Manipulating level screws.
14-8
Figure 14-8.-Showing a direct reading of 5.76 ft on a
Philadelphia rod.
cross hai r. A rod other than an archi tects rod i s
usual l y graduated i n feet subdi vi ded to the nearest
0.01 ft; therefore, di rect readi ngs are possi bl e onl y
to the nearest 0.01 ft.
Fi gure 14-8 shows a di rect readi ng of 5.76 ft
on a Phi l adel phi a rod. You can see that each bl ack
graduati on and each whi te, i nterval represents 0.01
ft.
You can see al so that the bl ack fi gure 7 i s the
onl y numeral of the readi ng 5.76 ft that appears
i n the vi ew. The red numeral 5 woul d not be
vi si bl e through the tel escope unl ess the si ght
di stance was qui te far away. For thi s reason, you
woul d si gnal the rodman to rai se for red, as
descri bed i n the previ ous chapter.
To make sure you rel ate the readi ng for tenths
and hundredths to the correct whol e-foot red
numeral , i t i s best to make a di rect readi ng as
fol l ows: When the hori zontal cross hai r and the
rod are brought i nto cl ear focus, fi rst determi ne
the number of hundredths. Then, read the next
l ower bl ack fi gure for the tenths. Fi nal l y, si gnal
for a rai se for red, and note the number of
whol e feet.
Making Target Readings
The three most common si tuati ons i n whi ch
target readi ngs rather than di rect readi ngs are
made are as fol l ows: (1) when the rod i s too far
from the i nstrument to be read di rectl y; (2) when
you desi re a readi ng to the nearest 0.001 ft, whi ch
requi res the use of the verni er by the rodman; and
(3) when the i nstrumentman thi nks a readi ng by
the rodman i nstead of by hi msel f more l i kel y wi l l
be accurate.
For tar get r eadi ngs up to 7.000 ft, the
Phi l adel phi a rod i s used ful l y cl osed and read on
the face by the rodman. The rodman sets the
tar get on the face by the si gnal s fr om the
i nstrumentman, who deter mi nes when the
hor i zontal axi s of the tar get i nter cepts the
hori zontal cross hai r.
When the i nstrumentman si gnal s al l ri ght,
the rodman cl amps the target i n pl ace wi th the
target screw cl amp, as shown i n fi gure 14-9; then
Figure 14-9.-Target reading of 5.843 ft on a Philadelphia
rod.
14-9
Figure 14-10.-Reading of 7.107 ft on back of Philadelphia
rod as indicated by arrow.
the rodman reads the target verni er, shown i n the
same fi gure.
The readi ng to the nearest 0.01 ft i s i ndi cated
by the zero on the verni er. I n fi gure 14-9, the
ver ni er zer o i ndi cates a r eadi ng of a few
thousandths of a foot more than 5.84 ft. To
determi ne how many thousandths over 5.84 ft,
you exami ne the graduati ons on the verni er to
determi ne the one most exactl y i n l i ne wi th a
graduati on on the rod. I n fi gure 14-9, thi s i s the
0.003-ft graduati on; therefore, the readi ng to the
nearest 0.001 ft i s 5.843 ft.
For target readi ngs of more than 7.000 ft, the
Phi l adel phi a rod i s used extended; the rodman
makes the readi ng on the back of the rod. I n
fi gure 14-10, the back of the upper secti on of the
r od i s shown, gr aduated FROM THE TOP
DOWN, from 7.000 ft through 13.000 ft. You can
al so see a rod verni er on the back, fi xed to the
top of the l ower secti on of the rod, al so readi ng
from the top down.
For a target readi ng of more than 7.000 ft,
the rodman, on recei vi ng the si gnal to extend
the r od, fi xes the target on the face of the
upper secti on al l the way to the top of the upper
secti on. Whi l e doi ng thi s, the rodman makes sure
the target verni er i s set at exactl y the same readi ng
i ndi cated by the rod verni er on the back of the
rod, He then rel eases the rod screw cl amp and
sl i des the upper secti on of the rod sl owl y upwards
unti l the i nstrumentman gi ves the si gnal al l
r i ght. When the hori zontal axi s of the target
reaches the l evel where i t i s i ntersected by the
hori zontal cross hai r, the i nstrumentman gi ves thi s
si gnal .
FUNDAMENTAL LEVELING
PROCEDURE
Now that you have l earned how to setup and
l evel the engi neers l evel and how to read the
l evel i ng rod, l et us take a l ook at an exampl e that
wi l l expl ai n the basi c procedure of determi ni ng
el evati ons duri ng a l evel i ng operati on.
I n fi gure 14-11, there i s a BM at Poi nt A wi th
a known el evati on of 365.01 ft. You wi sh to
determi ne the el evati on of a poi nt on the ground
at Poi nt B. To do so, you fi rst set up and l evel
your engi neers l evel approxi matel y hal f-way
between Poi nts A and B. When the i nstrument
i s l evel ed properl y, you wi l l have a perfectl y l evel
l i ne of si ght that can be rotated al l around the
hor i zon.
The next thi ng to do i s to determi ne the
el evati on of thi s l i ne of si ght. Thi s el evati on
i s cal l ed the HEI GHT OF I NSTRUMENT,
fami l i ar l y known as the HI . To obtai n thi s
el evati on, the i nstrumentman takes a backsi ght
(BS) on a l evel i ng rod hel d on the BM and, i n thi s
exampl e, obtai ns a rod readi ng of 11.65 ft. The
HI , then, i s the BM el evati on PLUS the rod
readi ng, or 365.01 + 11.56, whi ch equal s 376.57
ft. Thi s means that no matter to whi ch di recti on
the tel escope i s trai ned, any poi nt around the
hori zon that i s i ntercepted by the hori zontal cross
hai r has an el evati on of 376.57 ft.
To determi ne the ground el evati on at Poi nt
B, the i nstrumentman now takes a foresi ght (FS)
on a rod hel d at Poi nt B. Thi s ti me, a rod readi ng
of 1.42 ft i s read. Si nce the el evati on of the l i ne
of si ght (HI ) i s 376.57 ft, obvi ousl y the ground
el evati on at Poi nt B i s the HI MI NUS the rod
readi ng, or 376.57 1.42, whi ch equal s 375.15 ft.
Balancing Shots
The bal anci ng of the FS and BS di stances i s
i mportant i n l evel i ng. The effeet of curvature and
refracti on may be el i mi nated by a bal anced BS
and FS di stance; however, i nstrumental error i s
a far more i mportant reason for careful bal anci ng.
14-10
as
Figure 14-11.-Procedure for direct leveling.
Figure 14-12.-Turning points.
Bal anci ng shots means equal i zi ng as much To bal ance di stances for a setup, you wi l l fi nd
possi bl e BS and FS di stances by sel ecti ng that usi ng the same number of paces for BS as
turni ng poi nts that are approxi matel y an equal
di stance from both the BS and FS poi nts.
No matter how careful l y you l evel a l evel
tel escope, i t i s l i kel y to be sti l l sl i ghtl y out of the
hori zontal . The error thi s causes i ncreases wi th
the l ength of the si ght taken. I f the BS di stance
di ffers from the FS di stance, the BS and FS
errors wi l l al so di ffer. I f the di stances are the
same, the errors wi l l be the same. Bal anci ng shots
therefore el i mi nates the effect of i nstrumental
error and al so of curvature and refracti on, other
errors that i ncrease wi th di stance.
for FS i s hel pful . I n general , BS and FS di stances
shoul d be kept under 300 ft except when necessary
to pass or cross an obstacl e.
Establishing Turning Points
Suppose you want to determi ne the el evati on
of a poi nt at the summi t of a l ong sl ope, and the
nearest BM i s at the foot of the sl ope some 30 ft
or so bel ow the summi t. Obvi ousl y, you cannot
si ght a rod hel d on the BM and another hel d on
the summi t from the same i nstrument setup poi nt.
You must work up the sl ope i n a seri es of steps,
as shown i n fi gure 14-12, by establ i shi ng as many
14-11
i nter medi ate TPs as you need to sol ve the
probl em. A turni ng poi nt i s defi ned as a poi nt
on whi ch both a mi nus si ght (FS) and a pl us si ght
(BS) are taken on a l i ne of di rect l evel s.
As shown i n fi gure 14-12, i f we assume that
the el evati on of the BM i s correct, the accuracy
of the el evati on you determi ne for the summi t
depends upon how accuratel y you determi ne the
el evati on of each i ntermedi ate TP. Thi s accuracy
depends upon a number of thi ngs, the most
i mportant of whi ch are the fol l owi ng:
1. I f you ar e doi ng l evel i ng of or di nar y
preci si on, FS and BS di stances shoul d not exceed
300 ft. Therefore, the fi rst setup poi nt for the
i nstrument shoul d be not more than 300 ft from
the BM, and the fi rst TP shoul d be not more than
300 ft from the i nstrument. To bal ance shots, you
shoul d pl ace the i nstrument about the same
di stance from the BM as the di stance to the TP.
2. Obvi ousl y, the fi rst setup poi nt must be one
you can observe wi th a rod hel d on the BM and
al so a rod hel d on the fi rst TP.
3. General l y, setup poi nts shoul d be used that
make rod readi ngs as smal l as possi bl e. The reason
smal l rod readi ngs are desi rabl e i s that, for a rod
hel d out of pl umb, each readi ng on the rod wi l l
be i n error. The l arger the rod readi ng, the greater
the error. Suppose, for exampl e, a rod i s so far
out of pl umb that i t i ndi cates 12.01 ft for a
readi ng that shoul d be 12.00 ft i f the rod were
pl umb. For a 12.00-ft readi ng on the rod, the
error i s 0.01 ft. For a 2.00-ft readi ng on the same
rod hel d i n the same manner, however, the error
woul d be onl y about 0.002 ft.
4. A TP must have not onl y vi si bi l i ty and
accessi bi l i ty, but al so stabi l i ty; that i s, i t must
furni sh a fi rm, nonsettl i ng support for the base
of the rod. Suppose you sel ect a poi nt i n soft,
yi el di ng ground as your fi rst TP. Assume the
el evati on of the BM i s 312.42 ft. You take a BS
on the BM and read 3.42 ft. Then, HI i s
312.42 + 3.42 = 315.84 ft.
The rodman shi fts the rod to the TP. You take
an FS and read 5.61 ft. The el evati on of the TP
i s, therefore,
315.84 5.61 = 310.23 ft.
Now, you shi ft the i nstrument ahead and take a
BS to carry on the l i ne of l evel s to a new TP.
But suppose that before you take the BS on
the rod, the TP has settl ed 0.02 ft i n the ground.
Then you take a BS and read 4.74 ft. There i s now
an error of 0.02 ft i n the new HI , and every
subsequent HI and el evati on of TP wi l l be off by
the same amount.
So BE SURE that each TP i s stabl e. When the
use of a poi nt i n yi el di ng ground i s unavoi dabl e,
you need to base the rod on a turni ng poi nt pi n
or turni ng poi nt pl ate. A pi n i s dri ven i n the
gr ound; i f you dont have a r egul ar pi n, a
marl i nspi ke or a rai l road spi ke makes a good
substi tute. You shoul d use a pl ate on soi l too soft
to support a dri ven pi n.
METHODS OF LEVELING
Level i ng methods are subdi vi ded i nto two
major categor i es: DI RECT and I NDI RECT.
Di rect l evel i ng descri bes the method of measuri ng
verti cal di stance (di fference i n el evati on) di rectl y
wi th the use of preci se or semi -preci se l evel i ng
i nstruments. I ndi rect l evel i ng methods, on the
other hand, appl y to measuri ng verti cal di stances
i ndi r ectl y or by computati on. Unl i ke di r ect
l evel i ng operati ons, i ndi rect l evel i ng operati ons
do not depend on l i nes of si ght or i ntervi si bi l i ty
of poi nts or stati ons. Some of the surveyi ng
i nstruments commonl y used for i ndi rect l evel i ng
methods are the transi t and theodol i te.
DIRECT LEVELING
Thi s method of l evel i ng uses the measured
verti cal di stance to carry el evati on from a known
poi nt to an unknown poi nt. Di rect l evel i ng i s the
most preci se method of determi ni ng el evati on and
yi el ds accuraci es of thi rd or hi gher orders. When
thi s method i s speci fi ed for l ower accur acy
surveys, di rect l evel i ng i s someti mes referred to
as spi ri t or fl y l evel s. Fl y l evel s are l evel i ng
operati ons used to rerun ori gi nal l evel s to make
sure that no mi stake has been made. Fl y l evel s
use a shorter route and smal l er number of turni ng
poi nts than the ori gi nal survey. Lets take a l ook
at some of the processes i nvol vi ng di rect l evel i ng.
Differential Leveling
Di fferenti al l evel i ng (al so cal l ed di rect l evel i ng)
i s general l y used i n determi ni ng el evati ons of
poi nts to establ i sh a chai n or network of BMs for
future use. I t requi res a seri es of i nstrument setups
al ong the survey route; and for setup, a hori zontal
l i ne of si ght i s establ i shed, usi ng a sensi ti ve l evel .
The SEABEEs commonl y use thi s type of l evel i ng
i n determi ni ng el evati on duri ng constructi on
surveys.
As shown i n fi gure 14-13, the basi c procedure
used to determi ne el evati ons i n a di fferenti al
l evel i ng operati on i s the same as previ ousl y
di scussed. Fi rst, you take a BS on a rod hel d on
14-12
a poi nt of known el evati on (KE). Then add the
BS readi ng to the known el evati on to determi ne
the HI . Next, take an FS on a rod hel d at the poi nt
of unknown el evati on (UKE). Fi nal l y, subtract
the FS readi ng from the HI to establ i sh the
el evati on of the new poi nt.
After you compl ete the FS, l eave the rod on
that poi nt and move the i nstrument forward.
Set up the i nstrument approxi matel y MI DWAY
between the ol d and new rod posi ti ons. The new
si ghti ng on the back rod becomes a BS, and you
can now establ i sh a new HI . The poi nts other than
the BMs or TBMs on whi ch you hol d the rods for
the BSs and FSs are cal l ed TURNI NG POI NTS
(TPs). Other FSs made to poi nts not al ong the
mai n route are known as SI DESHOTS. You can
use thi s procedure as many ti mes as necessary to
transfer a poi nt of known el evati on to another
di stant poi nt of unknown el evati on.
Fi gure 14-14 shows a sampl e di fferenti al l evel i ng
run. The rod i s hel d on BM 35 (El ev. = 133.163).
The l evel i s set up mi dway between BM 35 and
Figure 14-13.-Differersthd leveling.
Figure 14-14-Sample field notes and profile of a differential-level circuit.
14-13
TBM 16. The BS readi ng of +6.659 i s added to
the el evati on of BM 35 and gi ves the resul ti ng HI
(139.822). The rod i s moved to Peg 16 (whi ch l ater
becomes TBM 16). The FS readi ng of 4.971 i s
subtracted from the HI to get the el evati on of Peg
16. Note that the di stance (220 ft each way) i s al so
recorded for bal anci ng. The process conti nues
unti l BM 19 i s reached.
LEVEL COMPUTATIONS. l n maki ng l evel
computati ons, you shoul d be sure to check on the
notes for a l evel run by veri fyi ng the begi nni ng
BM; that i s, by determi ni ng that you used the
correct BM and recorded i ts correct el evati on, as
r equi r ed.
Then, you shoul d check on the ari thmeti cal
accuracy wi th whi ch you added BSs and subtracted
FSs. The di fference between the sum of the BSs
taken on BMs or TPs and the sum of the FSs
taken on BMs or TPs shoul d equal the di fference
i n el evati on between the i ni ti al BM or TP and the
fi nal BM or TP.
Bal anced BS and FS di stances are shown i n
fi gure 14-14. The di stance used for the fi rst
i nstrument setup was 220 ft. The fi rst BS (rod
readi ng on El 35) was 6,659 ft. The fi rst FS (rod
readi ng on 0 16) was 4.971. Noti ce that the pl us
si gn (+) appears at the top of the BS col umn and
that the mi nus si gn () appears at the top of the
FS col umn i n the fi el d notebook. Thi s hel ps you
to remember that BSs are added and FSs are
subtracted as you compute the new el evati ons.
The BS taken on a poi nt added to the el evati on
of the poi nt gi ves the HI . Thi s establ i shes the
el evati on of the l i ne of si ght so that an FS can
then be taken on any poi nt (BM, TBM, or TP).
The l evel l i ne i s extended as far as desi red wi th
as many i nstrument setups as may be necessary
by a repeti ti on of the process used i n the fi rst
setup.
The el evati on of El 35 i s 133.163 ft. The fi rst
HI i s
133.163 + 6,659 = 139.822 ft.
The FS subtracted from the HI ,
139.822 4.971 = 134.851 ft,
gi ves the el evati on of 0, the fi rst establ i shed.
Fol l owi ng through wi th a si mi l ar computati on for
each setup, noti ce that the el evati on of El 19 was
found to be 136.457 ft.
Look now at the notes i n fi gure 14-14. The
sum of al l the BSs i s 24.620 ft. The sum of al l
the FSs i s 21.326 ft. The di fference between the
sum of the BSs and the sum of the FSs i s
24.620 21.326 = 3.294 ft.
Thi s di fference shoul d agree wi th the di fference
between the actual el evati on of BM 35 and the
el evati on al ready found for BM 19; that i s,
136.457 133.163 = 3.294 ft.
Thi s pr ovi des a check on the step-by-step
computati on of el evati ons.
ADJ USTMENT OF INTERMEDIATE BENCH
MARK ELEVATIONS. Level l i nes that begi n
and end on poi nts that have fi xed el evati ons, such
as BMs, are often cal l ed l evel ci rcui ts. When
l evel i ng i s accompl i shed between two previ ousl y
establ i shed BMs or over a l oop that cl oses back
on the starti ng poi nt, the el evati on determi ned for
the fi nal BM wi l l sel dom be equal to i ts previ ousl y
establ i shed el evati on. The di fference between
these two el evati ons for the same BM i s known
as the ERROR OF CLOSURE. The Remarks
col umn of fi gure 14-14 i ndi cates that the actual
el evati on of BM 19 i s known to be 136.442 ft. The
el evati on found through di fferenti al l evel i ng was
136.457 ft. The error of cl osure of the l evel
ci rcui t i s
136.457 136.442 = 0.015 ft.
I t i s assumed that er r or s have occur r ed
progressi vel y al ong the l i ne over whi ch the l evel i ng
was done so that adjustments for these errors are
di stri buted proporti onal l y al ong the l i ne as shown
by the fol l owi ng exampl e: Referri ng to fi gure
14-14, you wi l l noti ce that the total di stance
between BM 35 and BM 19, over whi ch the l i ne
of l evel s was run, was 2,140 ft. The el evati on on
the cl osi ng BM 19 was found to be 0.015 ft greater
than i ts known el evati on. You must therefore
adjust the el evati ons found for the i ntermedi ate
TBMs 16, 17, and 18.
The amount of correcti on i s cal cul ated as
fol l ows:
TBM 16 i s 440 ft from the starti ng BM. The total
l ength di stance between the starti ng and cl osi ng
BMs i s 2,140 ft. The error of cl osure i s 0.015 ft.
14-14
The adjusted el evati on of TBM 16 i s
134.851-0.003 = 134.848 ft.
The adjustments for i ntermedi ate TBMs 17 and 18 are
made i n a si mi l ar manner.
Reciprocal Leveling
Thi s procedure i s used for ei ther di fferenti al or
tri gonometri c l evel i ng when al ong si ght across a wi de
ri ver, ravi ne, or si mi l ar obstacl e must be made. Thi s
l ong si ght wi l l be affected by curvature and refracti on
and by any smal l error i n al i gni ng the l i ne of si ght wi th
the bubbl e axi s. The al i gnment error can be mi ni mi zed
by bal anci ng the l ong si ght and computi ng the
curvature. The atmospheri c condi ti ons wi l l vary so
much over an open expanse that the refracti on
correcti on wi l l be qui te errati c. Reci procal l evel i ng i s
desi red to mi ni mi ze the effect of the atmosphere as wel l
as the l i ne of si ght and curvature correcti ons. To do thi s,
take the fol l owi ng acti ons:
1. I n reci procal l evel i ng, bal ance the BSs and FSs
as careful l y as possi bl e before you reach the obstacl e.
I n fi gure 14-15, a TP, N, i s sel ected cl ose to the edge of
the obstructi on so that i t i s vi si bl e from a proposed
i nstrument l ocati on, B, on the other si de. A second rod
i s hel d on the other si de of the obstructi on at F. Poi nt F
shoul d be sel ected so that the equi val ent di stances, AN
and FB, and AF and NB, are al most equal . The
i nstrument i s setup at poi nt A and l evel ed careful l y. A
BS readi ng i s taken on the N rod and an FS on the F rod.
These readi ngs are repeated several ti mes. The
i nstrument i s moved to poi nt B, set up, and careful l y
l evel ed. The rods remai n at thei r stati ons. Agai n, a BS
i s taken on the N rod and an FS on the F rod, and
repeated several ti mes. Si nce i nstrument l evel i ng i s
especi al l y cri ti cal on reci procal l evel i ng, you need to
check the bubbl e before each readi ng and center i t
careful l y. I f i t i s off-center a sl i ght amount, the
pr ocedur e must be r epeated. The di ffer ence i n
el evati on between N and F i s computed from the
readi ngs at A setup and from the readi ngs at B setup
separatel y. Because of the errors i n the l ong si ght, the
two resul ts wi l l have sl i ghtl y di fferent val ues. Note,
however, that the l ong si ght i s an FS from A and a BS
from B. The true di fference i n el evati on i s the average
of both val ues, si nce the errors have opposi te si gns and
wi l l cancel each other.
Figure 14-15.-Reciprocal leveling.
2. For more accuracy, make several l ong si ght
readi ngs for each short si ght and average them. You
shoul d use a target on the rod and reset i t for each
readi ng. Average each seri es of l ong si ghts and
combi ne thi s average wi th correspondi ng short si ghts
for the computati ons.
3. Ch an ges i n atmos ph er i c den s i ty an d
temperature affect the refracti on of a l i ne of si ght. The
l onger the ti me i nterval i s between reci procal l ong
si ghts, the greater the chance of an atmospheri c change
and a vari ati on i n the refracti on val ue. For thi s reason,
you shoul d keep the ti me l apse between the l ong si ghts
as short as possi bl e.
4. An excel l ent method of avoi di ng the ti me l apse
probl em i s si mul taneous-reci procal observati on. The
object i s to read both l ong si ght val ues at the same ti me.
Thi s requi res two i nstruments and two observers and
two r ods and two r odmen. Some method of
communi cati on or sequence of operati ons must be
agreed upon.
5. The note keepi ng for reci procal l evel i ng i s
i denti cal to di fferenti al l evel i ng. Take a seri es of ei ther
BS or FS readi ngs on the far rod from one setup and
take onl y one si ghti ng on the rear rod. Average the
seri es of readi ngs, and use a si ngl e val ue to make the
el evati on computati ons.
Profile Leveling
I n surveyi ng, a PROFI LE i s a verti cal secti on of
the earth measured al ong a predetermi ned or fi xed
l i ne. I n practi ce, profi l es are a seri es of ground
el evati ons determi ned by di fferenti al l evel i ng or
oth er meth od s th a t, wh en p l otted a l on g
14-15
Figure 14-16.-Plotted profile and grade lines along a proposed road center line.
Figure 14-17.-Field notes for profile levels shown in figure 14-7.
14-16
some l i ne, such as the center l i ne of a road, can
be used to determi ne the fi nal grade or al i gnment
of that road, rai l road, or sewer l i ne. Profi l es are
al so used to compute vol umes of earthwork.
Fi gure 14-16 shows a pl otted profi l e of the
exi sti ng ground surface al ong a proposed hi ghway
center l i ne. Hori zontal l y on the graph, you read
a successi on of 100-ft stati ons, from 0 + 00 to
19 + 00. Verti cal l y, you read el evati ons. Note
that, hori zontal l y, the i nterval between adjacent
verti cal gri d l i nes represents 25 ft; but verti cal l y
the i nterval between adjacent hori zontal gri d l i nes
r epr esents 2.5 ft.
The profi l e was pl otted through a successi on
of poi nts, each of whi ch was obtai ned from a
profi l e el evati on taken on the ground. Fi gure
14-17 shows fi el d notes for the l evel s taken
from 0 + 00 through 10 + 00. The l evel was fi rst
set up at a poi nt about equi di stant from stati on
0 + 00 and from a BM i denti fi ed as Nati onal
Geodeti c Survey Monument, Bradl ey, Mi ssouri .
The el evati on of the BM was 117.51 ft. The fi rst
backsi ght readi ng on a rod hel d on the BM was
7.42 ft. The hei ght of i nstr ument (HI ) was
therefore
117.51 + 7.42 = 124.93 ft.
You can see thi s entered i n the HI col umn.
From the fi rst i nstrument setup, FSs were
taken on stati on 0 + 00 and 1 + 00. The el evati on
of the stati on i n each case was determi ned by
subtracti ng the FS readi ng from the HI . Note that
the FS taken on stati on 1 + 00 i s entered i n a
col umn headed FS, whi l e the one taken on
stati on 0 + 00 i s entered i n a di fferent col umn,
headed I FS. I FS means i ntermedi ate FS, or
an FS taken on a poi nt that i s nei ther a BM nor
a TP, You can see that stati on 1 + 00 was used
as a TP i n shi fti ng the i nstrument ahead. Onl y
FSS taken on BMs or TPs are entered i n the
col umn headed FS.
After an FS was taken on stati on 1 + 00, i t
became necessary to shi ft the i nstrument ahead.
Stati on 1 + 00 was used as the TP. From the new
i nstrument setup, a BS was taken on a rod hel d
on 1 + 00. The new HI was found by addi ng the
BS readi ng to the previ ousl y determi ned el evati on
of 1 + 00.
From the new setup, an FS was taken on
stati on 2 + 00; agai n, the el evati on was found by
subtracti ng the FS readi ng from the HI . After thi s
si ght was taken, the i nstrument was agai n shi fted
ahead, probabl y because of the steepness of the
sl ope. Thi s ti me, stati on 2 + 00 was used as the
TP
2
. From the new setup, a BS was taken on
stati on 2 + 00 and a new HI establ i shed. From
thi s setup, i t was possi bl e to take FSs on both
stati on 3 + 00 and stati on 4 + 00. Because stati on
3 + 00 was not used as a TP, the FS on i t was
entered under I FS.
Apparentl y, the sl ope between stati on 4 + 00
and stati on 5 + 00 was so steep that si ghti ng both
stati ons from the same setup wi th the rod bei ng
used was i mpossi bl e. Consequentl y, an i nter-
medi ate TP (TP
4
) was establ i shed at stati on 4 + 75
by determi ni ng the el evati on of thi s stati on. The
i nstrument was shi fted to a setup from whi ch a
BS coul d be obtai ned on a rod hel d on thi s
stati on and from whi ch FSs on stati ons 5 + 00,
6 + 00, 7 + 00, and 8 + 00 coul d be taken,
Stati on 8 + 00 was then used as a TP for the l ast
shi ft ahead. From thi s l ast setup, i t was possi bl e
to take FSs on stati ons 9 + 00 and 10 + 00.
As a check on the ari thmeti c, you customari l y
check each page of l evel notes to check the
di fference between the sum of the FSs and the sum
of the BSs agai nst the di fference i n el evati on
between the i ni ti al BM or TP and fi nal BM or TP.
Obvi ousl y, onl y the BSs and FSs taken on BMs
and TPs are rel evant to thi s check, Thi s i s the
reason why i ntermedi ate FSS not taken on BMs
or TPs are entered i n a separate col umn.
I f the ari thmeti c i s correct, the two di fferences
wi l l be the same. As you can see, the sum of the
rel evant BSs i n fi gure 14-17 i s 39.63; the sum of
the FSs i s 27.70; and the di fference between the
two i s 11.93. Note that from thi s di fference, the
BS taken on TP
5
i s deducted. The reason i s the
fact that thi s BS i s not offset by a correspondi ng
FS on a BM or TP. Wi th the BS taken on TP
5
deducted, the di fference between the sum of the
FSs and the sum of the BSs i s 6.86. The di fference
between the el evati on of TP
5
and the el evati on
of the i ni ti al BM i s 6.86, so the ari thmeti c checks.
Remember that thi s procedure provi des a
check on the ari thmeti c onl y. I f you have recorded
any i ncorrect val ues, the ari thmeti c wi l l check out
just as wel l as when you have recorded the correct
val ues. The procedure i s val uabl e, however, for
detecti ng two mi stakes commonl y made by
begi nners. These are subtracti ng a BS from,
i nstead of addi ng i t to, a BM el evati on to get the
HI ; and addi ng an FS to, i nstead of subtracti ng
i t from, the HI to get an el evati on.
14-17
Figure 14-18.Using angle prism for sighting 90 from the
center-line stakes.
Cross-Section Leveling
I n profi l e l evel i ng, you determi ne the el eva-
ti ons of a seri es of poi nts l engthwi se al ong a
hi ghway. I n cross-secti on l evel i ng, you determi ne
the el evati ons of poi nts on a successi on of l i nes
runni ng at ri ght angl es to the l engthwi se l i ne of
the hi ghway. The pri nci pal purpose of profi l e
l evel i ng i s to provi de data from whi ch the depth
of fi l l or cut r equi r ed to br i ng the exi sti ng
surface up to, or down to, the grade el evati on
requi red for the hi ghway can be determi ned.
Note that profi l e l evel i ng provi des thi s data
rel ati ve to the center l i ne. I n fi gure 14-16, you can
see al ong the top the depth of cut or fi l l requi red
at each stati on to bri ng the exi sti ng surface to
gradethe prescri bed grade l i ne for the hi ghway
i s i ndi cated by the smoothl y curved grade l i ne
shown. At each stati on, you can determi ne the
cut or fi l l by counti ng the squares between the
profi l e and the grade l i ne.
The cross-secti on l i nes are establ i shed at
regul ar stati ons, at any pl us stati ons, and at
i ntermedi ate breaks i n the ground. Short cross-
l i nes are l ai d out by eye, but l ong crossl i nes are
l ai d out at a 90 angl e to the center l i ne wi th the
transi t. For short crossl i nes, most surveyors prefer
to use an angl e pri sm for si ghti ng 90
0
angl es from
the center l i ne. Fi gure 14-18 shows a surveyor
usi ng an angl e pri sm for si ghti ng a 90
0
angl e from
the center l i ne of the hi ghway.
For cross-secti on l evel i ng, stri p topography,
and some other purposes, i t i s necessary to l ay
off a 90
0
angl e at numerous poi nts al ong a l i ne.
Thi s 90
0
angl e can often be establ i shed by
4-18
Figure 14-19.-Laying off a 90
0
angle from the center-line
stakes.
esti mati on wi th suffi ci ent accur acy for the
parti cul ar job. The surveyor straddl es the poi nt
on the l i ne, arms extended si deward al ong the
marked l i ne (fi g. 14- 19). By l ooki ng al ternatel y
ri ght then l eft, he adjusts the posi ti on of hi s feet
unti l hi s body i s i n l i ne wi th AB. He then bri ngs
hi s hands together i n front of hi m, thus poi nti ng
al ong an approxi mate 90
0
l i ne from the marked
l i ne. An experi enced surveyor can l ay off a 90
0
angl e by thi s method so that a poi nt 100 ft away
wi l l be wi thi n 1 ft of the true perpendi cul ar.
You shoul d measure al l el evati ons at abrupt
changes or breaks i n the ground wi th a rod and
l evel . Measure al l di stances from the center l i ne
wi th a metal l i c tape. I n rough country, the hand
l evel can be used to advantage for obtai ni ng cross
secti ons i f the center-l i ne el evati ons have been
determi ned by use of the engi neers l evel .
Cross-secti on l evel i ng i s usual l y done wi th a
hand l evel after the profi l e run has been made.
The method i s as fol l ows:
From the profi l e run, you know the center-
l i ne el evati on at each stati on. Suppose you want
to take cross-secti on el evati ons at 10 ft i nterval s
for 40 ft on ei ther si de of the center l i ne. The fi rst
thi ng you do i s to determi ne the verti cal di stance
from the ground to your l i ne of si ght through the
hand l evel when you stand erect wi th the l evel at
your eye. The best way to do thi s i s to si ght on
a l evel rod hel d pl umb i n front of you. Suppose
you fi nd that the verti cal di stance i s 5.5 ft. Then
your HI at any center-l i ne stati on i s the center-
l i ne el evati on (obtai ned i n the profi l e l evel run)
pl us 5.5 ft.
Suppose that you are standi ng at stati on
0 + 00, fi gure 14-16. The el evati on of thi s stati on
i s 122.53 ft. Your HI i s therefore
.122.53 + 5.5 = 128.03 ft.
You round off cross-secti on el evati ons to the
nearest 0.1 ft. I f a rodman hol ds a rod 40 ft to
the l eft of the center l i ne at stati on 0 + 00 and
you read 1.9 ft on the rod, then the el evati on of
the poi nt pl umbed by the rod i s
128.0 1.9 = 126.1 ft.
The rodman now moves on to a poi nt 30 ft
from the center l i ne. I f you read 3.3 ft on the rod,
the el evati on of thi s poi nt i s
128.0 3.3 = 124.7 ft.
Goi ng on i n thi s manner, you determi ne the
el evati ons at al l the requi red poi nts on the cross
secti on. You then move to the next stati on and
repeat the process.
Cross secti on notes are recorded i n the fi el d
book by usi ng one of two basi c methods. I n the
fi rst, and often preferred, method, begi n at the
bottom of the page and read upward, as shown
i n fi gure 14-20. Thi s method hel ps to keep you
ori ented i n the di recti on i n whi ch the l i ne runs and
hel ps to prevent confusi on as to whi ch i s the ri ght
or l eft si de of the l i ne. I t therefore reduces the
possi bi l i ty of recordi ng your readi ngs on the
wrong si de of the center l i ne.
I n the second method, the notes are recorded
i n the conventi onal manner of readi ng from top
to bottom of the page. Whi chever method you
use, you must r emember that as you stand
faci ng the di recti on i n whi ch the l i ne runs, l eft
Figure 14-20.-Sample field notes from cross-section leveling at first three stations shown in figure 14-7.
14-19
and ri ght i n the notebook must correspond to l eft
and ri ght i n the fi el d.
Fi gure 14-20 shows fi el d notes for cross-
secti on l evel s taken on the fi rst three stati ons
shown i n fi gures 14-16 and 14-17. On the data
si de, onl y the stati on and the HI need to be l i sted.
On the remarks si de, each entry consi sts of a poi nt
el evati on, wri tten over the di stance of the poi nt
from the center l i ne. The computed el evati on,
determi ned by subtracti ng the rod readi ng from
the HI , i s wri tten i n above as shown. Note that
the rod readi ng at the center l i ne i s the 5.5-ft
verti cal di stance from your l i ne of si ght to the
ground. Al so, noti ce that the center-l i ne el evati on
wri tten i n at each stati on. i s the one obtai ned i n
the profi l e l evel run. You obtai n the HI for each
stati on by si mpl y addi ng together these two
fi gur es.
Double Rodding
Doubl e r oddi ng i s a for m of di ffer enti al
l evel i ng i n whi ch a conti nuous check i s mai ntai ned
on the accuracy of the l evel i ng procedure. I t i s
cal l ed doubl e roddi ng because i t can be done most
conveni entl y by two r odmen. However , i t i s
possi bl e to carry out the procedure usi ng onl y one
r odman.
I n doubl e roddi ng, you determi ne the HI at
each setup poi nt by backl i ghts taken on two
di fferent TPs. I f no mi stake or l arge error has
been made, the resul t wi l l be two HI s that di ffer
sl i ghtl y from each other. El evati ons computed thi s
way wi l l al so di ffer sl i ghtl y. I n each case, the
average i s taken as the el evati on.
Fi gure 14-21 shows doubl e-rodded l evel notes
for a run from one BM to another by way of three
Figure 14-21.-Sample field notes from double-rodded levels.
14-20
i ntermedi ate TPs. I n each case, a hi gher TP
(as TP
1
) and a l ower TP (as TP~~) was used,
resul ti ng i n two di fferent HI s for each. Computed
by way of the hi gher HI s, the el evati on of BM2
came to 851.98 ft. Computed by way of the l ower
HI s, i t came to 852.00 ft. The mean (average) of
851.99 ft was taken as the correct el evati on.
INDIRECT LEVELING
I ndi r ect methods of l evel i ng encompass
both tr i gonometr i c and bar ometr i c l evel i ng.
TRI GONOMETRI C LEVELI NG uses ver ti cal
angl es and a hori zontal di stance to compute
the di ffer ence i n el evati on, BAROMETRI C
LEVELI NG uses the di fference i n atmospheri c
pressures that are observed by a barometer or an
al ti meter to determi ne the el evati on di fferences.
I ndi rect methods of l evel i ng wi l l be di scussed at
the EA2 l evel .
PRECISION IN LEVELING;
MISTAKES AND ERRORS
IN LEVELING
Level i ng, l i ke any other surveyi ng operati on,
i s carri ed out by fol l owi ng a prescri bed ORDER
OF PRECI SI ONmeani ng that the i nstruments
you use and the methods you fol l ow have to be
those that can gi ve you the speci fi ed standard of
accuracy.
PRECI SI ON I N LEVELI NG
FI RST-ORDER l evel i ng i s used to establ i sh
the mai n l evel network for an area and to provi de
basi c verti cal control for the extensi on of l evel
networks of the same, or l ower, accuracy i n
support of mappi ng projects, cadastral (recordi ng
property boundari es, subdi vi si on l i nes, bui l di ngs,
etc.), and l ocal surveys. Level l i nes must start and
end on proven, exi sti ng BMs of the same order.
New l evel s must be run between the starti ng BM
bei ng used and at l east one other exi sti ng BM and
must show there i s no change i n thei r rel ati ve
el evati ons.
SECOND-ORDER l evel i ng i s used to sub-
di vi de nets of fi rst-order l evel i ng and to provi de
basi c control for the extensi on of l evel s of the
same, or l ower, accuracy i n support of mappi ng
projects and l ocal surveys. Second-order l evel s are
di vi ded i nto two cl asses: Cl ass I and Cl ass I I .
CLASS I i s used i n remote areas where the l i ne
must be l onger than 25 mi because routes are
unavai l abl e for the devel opment of addi ti onal or
hi gher order networks and for spur l i nes. CLASS
I I l evel s are used for the devel opment of nets i n
the more accessi bl e areas. I n Cl ass I l evel i ng, i t
i s requi red that al l l i nes start and cl ose on
previ ousl y establ i shed BMs of fi rst or second
order. New l evel s have to be run between the
exi sti ng BM bei ng used and at l east one other
exi sti ng BM to prove that they have not changed
thei r rel ati ve el evati ons. The cri teri a for Cl ass I I
are the same as for Cl ass 1, except that Cl ass I I
l i nes are run i n one di recti on onl y.
THI RD-ORDER l evel i ng i s used to subdi vi de
an area surrounded by fi rst- and second-order
l evel i ng and to pr ovi de el evati ons for the
i mmedi ate control of cadastral , topographi c, and
constructi on surveys for permanent structures.
The fol l owi ng cri teri a shoul d be observed i n thi rd-
order l evel i ng:
1. Al l l i nes have to start from, and cl ose on,
two pr evi ousl y establ i shed BMs of thi r d, or
hi gher, order of accuracy i f the new l evel i ng
i ndi cates they have not changed i n thei r rel ati ve
el evati ons.
2. I n the Uni ted States, thi rd-order l i nes
shoul d not be extended more than 30 mi from
BMs of fi rst or second order. I n forei gn or remote
areas, the di stance may be extended accordi ng to
the eval uati on of the exi sti ng control and the
si tuati on. They may be si ngl e-run (one di recti on)
l i nes but shoul d al ways be l oops or ci rcui ts that
cl ose upon BMs of an equal or a hi gher order.
3. When a l i ne from previ ousl y establ i shed
thi rd-order marks i s extended, the maxi mum
l ength of the new l i ne i s greatl y reduced. The
di stance and al l owabl e error are to be carri ed back
through the exi sti ng l i ne to the nearest ti e BM of
the second or hi gher order.
4. Bal anced si ghts shoul d not be greater than
300 ft. BS and FS di stances maybe measured by
paci ng and approxi matel y bal anced between BMs,
Rod readi ngs are read to thousandths and the rod
waved for extended rod readi ngs. The bubbl e i s
checked to make sure i t i s exactl y centered before
each si ghti ng and readi ng. Turni ng poi nt pi ns or
pl ates or wel l -defi ned poi nts on sol i d objects are
used for TPs.
FOURTH-ORDER l evel i ng i s used to sub-
di vi de an area wi thi n a thi rd-order network. Thi s
i s the method of l evel i ng used i n connecti on wi th
the l ocati on and constr ucti on of hi ghways,
rai l roads, and most other engi neeri ng works that
concern the SEABEEs i n advanced base projects.
14-21
But, i n practi ce, tryi ng to shoot for a hi gher degree
of accuracy i s advantageous i f i t does not affect
the proper progress of the work. The fol l owi ng
cr i ter i a shoul d be obser ved i n four th-or der
l evel i ng:
1. Al l l i nes are to start from, and cl ose on,
previ ousl y establ i shed BMs of the thi rd or fourth
order of accuracy.
2. Maxi mum si ght di stance i s about 500 ft.
Rod readi ngs are read to hundredths of a foot.
BS and FS di stances are roughl y bal anced onl y
when l i nes of great l engths are run, ei ther uphi l l
or downhi l l . TPs are taken on sol i d or any wel l -
defi ned, fi rm objects.
The i nstrument commonl y used i n thi rd- and
fourth-order l evel i ng i s the engi neers l evel and
the Phi l adel phi a rod. Al ways check the proper
adjustments of the i nstrument before usi ng i t.
Order of Precision
The pr eci si on of a l evel r un i s usual l y
pr escr i bed i n ter ms of a maxi mum er r or of
cl osur e. Thi s i s obtai ned by mul ti pl yi ng a
constant factor by the square root of the l ength
of the run i n mi l es or i n ki l ometers, dependi ng
upon the system of measurement bei ng used. The
Feder al Bur eau of Sur veyi ng and Mappi ng
speci fi es certai n requi rements and the maxi mum
cl osi ng errors, such as those shown i n tabl e 14-1.
You may refer to thi s standard i f the order of
preci si on i s not speci fi ed for a parti cul ar survey
project.
Calculating Error of Closure
A l evel run that begi ns at a parti cul ar BM and
i s carri ed back agai n to the same BM i s cal l ed a
l evel l oop. A run that does not cl ose on the
i ni ti al BM i s cal l ed a l evel l i ne. A l evel l i ne cl oses
on another BM; but when a l evel l i ne i s carri ed
back to i ts ori gi n, i t becomes a l evel l oop. Usual l y,
a l evel l i ne i s carri ed back to the i ni ti al BM to
determi ne the error of cl osure.
Er r or of cl osur e i s si mpl y the di ffer ence
between the known el evati on of the i ni ti al BM and
the el evati on of the same (BM) as computed i n
the l evel run.
The error of cl osure that can be al l owed
depends on the preci si on requi red (fi rst, second,
or thi rd order). The permi ssi bl e (or al l owabl e)
error of cl osure i n accuracy l evel i ng i s expressed
i n terms of a coeffi ci ent and the square root of
the hori zontal l ength of the actual route over
whi ch the l evel i ng was done.
Most di fferenti al l evel i ng (pl ane surveyi ng) i s
thi rd-order work. I n thi rd-order l evel i ng, the
cl osure i s usual l y made on surveys of hi gher
accuracy wi thout doubl i ng back to the ol d BM
at the ori gi nal starti ng poi nt of the l evel ci rcui t.
The l ength of the l evel ci rcui t, therefore, i s the
actual di stance l evel ed. For thi rd-order l evel i ng,
the al l owabl e error i s as fol l ows:
By addi ng the si ght di stances i n the si xth and
seventh col umns of the di fferenti al l evel ci rcui t
shown i n fi gure 14-14, you wi l l fi nd that the l ength
of the l evel ci rcui t i s 2,140 ft. The l ength i n mi l es i s
2140 + 5280 = 0.405.
The al l owabl e error of cl osure i s
Si nce the actual error i s onl y 0.015 ft, the resul ts
are suffi ci entl y accurate.
Fi rst- and second-order l evel s usual l y cl ose on
themsel ves. The l evel i ng party runs a l i ne of l evel s
from an ol d BM or stati on to the new BM or
stati on, and then doubl es back to the ol d BM for
cl osure. The actual di stance l evel ed i s twi ce the
l ength of the l evel ci rcui t.
For second-order l evel i ng, the al l owabl e error
i s
Fi rst-order l evel i ng i s sti l l more preci se. The
al l owabl e error cannot be greater than
MISTAKES AND ERRORS
IN LEVELING
As expl ai ned i n an earl i er chapter, the terms
mistakes and errors are NOT synonymous i n
sur veyi ng.
Level i ng oper ati ons, l i k e other sur vey
measurements, are suscepti bl e to both. Mi stakes
can be avoi ded by a wel l -arranged system of
operati on and by constant al ertness by the survey
party members. Checki ng, as descri bed i n some
of the operati ons, wi l l el i mi nate many possi bl e
14-22
Table 14-1.
14-23
areas of mi stakes. Errors cannot be compl etel y
el i mi nated, but they can be mi ni mi zed so that thei r
effect on the survey accuracy wi l l be smal l and
wi thi n the tol erances permi tted.
Identifying Leveling Mistakes
The l evel i ng mi stakes di scussed here are not
i ntended to i ncl ude al l possi bi l i ti es but wi l l
gi ve an i dea of the more common ones. The
survey party personnel shoul d be aware of these
possi bi l i ti es and shoul d be careful to avoi d these
mi stakes. Some of the common mi stakes are as
fol l ows:
1. Not setti ng the rod on the same poi nt for
an FS and the fol l owi ng BS. Usi ng a turni ng pi n,
pedestal , stake, or marki ng the l ocati on wi th chal k
on hard surfaces wi l l hel p you to recover the
i denti cal poi nt.
2. Negl ecti ng to cl amp the target or the rod
when extended. Any sl i ppage can pass unnoti ced
and resul t i n a wrong readi ng that may requi re
an enti re rerun of the l i ne to di scover the mi stake.
The rodman shoul d watch the rod or target for
any movement as the cl amp i s ti ghtened. The rod
extensi on or target shoul d be read agai n after the
cl amp has been set.
3. Readi ng the wrong mark. Thi s i s a common
mi stake. The fi gures on a rod may be obscured
by brush or may fal l i n a posi ti on i n the fi el d of
vi ew so that the i nstrumentman cannot see two
consecuti ve numbers. Under these condi ti ons, he
may read the wrong mark or even read i n the
wrong di recti on. Thi s i s a great possi bi l i ty when
an i nverti ng eyepi ece i s bei ng used. For exampl e,
i f the fi gure 2 i s the onl y number vi si bl e, the
i nstrumentman mi ght read up the rod2.1,
2.2, 2.3 when actual l y he shoul d be readi ng 1.9,
1.8, 1.7. Another possi bi l i ty i s mi scounti ng the
number of di vi si ons. There i s no way to check or
di scover these mi stakes except to be aware of thei r
possi bi l i ty and to read careful l y.
4. Recordi ng a readi ng i n the wrong col umn.
I n l evel i ng, readi ngs are not entered i nto the
notebook i n a normal sequence, such as l eft to
ri ght across the page. There i s al ways a chance
that one or more val ues may be recorded i n the
wrong col umn. The recorder must be al ert to
avoi d maki ng thi s mi stake.
5. Readi ng the wrong angl e si gn i n tri gono-
metri c l evel i ng. The i nstrumentman can acci dental l y
cal l out a wrong si gn i n readi ng the angl e. Thi s
type of mi stake can be el i mi nated by the recorder
watchi ng the tel escope as a poi nti ng i s made on
the rod. I f the wrong one i s cal l ed out, both the
recorder and the i nstrumentman can resol ve i t
i mmedi atel y.
6. Recordi ng the wrong si gn. The si gn vari es
dependi ng on whether the rod readi ng i s a BS or
an FS, and whether the angl e i s a depressi on or
an el evati on. Al so, the di fference i n el evati on
computati on requi res a si gn reversal i f the angl e
i s read for the BS, but not for the FS. These
vari ati ons can be confusi ng; the recorder has to
be careful to avoi d mi stakes. Thi s can be done
by recordi ng the angl e and rod readi ng si gns as
read. The si gn conversi on, i f needed, shows up
when you compute the DE. Exami ni ng the
computati ons to see i f al l BS DEs have a si gn
opposi te to the angl e si gn i s si mpl e.
7. Subtracti ng the BS or addi ng the FS i n
di fferenti al l evel i ng. I f the BS or FS i s recorded
properl y (see Number 4 above), you can di scover
the mi stake when you add the BS col umn and the
FS col umn for a computati on check.
8. Usi ng the wrong hori zontal cross hai rs.
Thi s occurs on an i nstrument provi ded wi th stadi a
hai rs.
Identifying Leveling Errors
General l y, errors cannot be total l y el i mi nated,
but they can be contai ned wi thi n acceptabl e
tol erances. Thi s requi res you to use the prescri bed
methods and i nstruments and appl y correcti ons
establ i shed ei ther mathemati cal l y or by experi ence.
Some of the condi ti ons that produce errors are
l i sted bel ow.
1. I nstrument not properl y adjusted. A smal l
amount of resi dual error wi l l al ways exi st i n any
adjustment. For the more accurate surveys, the
resi dual error can be mi ni mi zed by usi ng BS and
FS bal anci ng and, i n tri gonometri c l evel i ng, by
taki ng di rect and reverse (ci rcl e l eft and ci rcl e
ri ght) readi ngs for the angl es.
2. I nstrument not l evel ed properl y. Unl i ke the
resi dual adjustment error that wi l l affect the
readi ngs one way consi stentl y, thi s i s a random
or acci dental error. I t may affect the l i ne of si ght
di ffer entl y at each setup. Thi s er r or can be
mi ni mi zed onl y by careful l evel i ng each ti me the
i nstrument i s set up and by recenteri ng the bubbl e
before each readi ng.
3. Tel escope not focused properl y. Mi sfocusi ng
and paral l ax i n the eyepi ece create acci dental
errors that cannot be corrected. The onl y way to
avoi d or mi ni mi ze thi s error i s to take care to
focus properl y at each setup. The i nstrumentman
14-24
shoul d check and cl ear paral l ax before the fi rst
si ghti ng and shoul d not readjust i t unti l al l
si ghti ngs from the setup are compl ete.
4. Rod i mproperl y pl umbed. Thi s error i s
caused by a rodman who does not pay attenti on
to hi s work. The i nstrumentman can cal l attenti on
to pl umbi ng i f i t i s at a ri ght angl e to hi s l i ne of
si ght, but he cannot see i t i n the di recti on of l i ne
of si ght. The use of a rod l evel or wavi ng the rod
wi l l avoi d thi s error.
5. Unstabl e object used for a TP. The rodman
causes thi s error by sel ecti ng a poor poi nt of
support, such as l oose rocks or soft ground. As
the rod i s turned between si ghts, the wei ght of the
rod can shi ft a l oose rock or si nk i nto soft ground.
The el evati on of the TP as used for the next BS
can change appreci abl y from the val ue that had
been computed from the previ ous FS. Thi s error
can be avoi ded by usi ng the turni ng pi n or pedestal
when the ground does not present sol i d poi nts.
6. Rod l ength erroneous. Thi s error resul ts i n
ei ther too l ong or too short rod readi ngs at each
poi nt. I n a survey predomi natel y over sl opes, thi s
error wi l l accumul ate. The rod l ength shoul d be
checked wi th a steel tape at i nterval s to l ocate thi s
er r or .
7. Unbal anced BS and FS di stances. The
unbal anced di stances do not cause the error. I t
i s caused by the effect on the l i ne of si ght from
resi dual adjustment and l evel i ng errors and the
effect of curvature and refracti on errors. Readi ngs
you take at a l ong di stance wi l l have a greater
er r or than those at a shor t di stance. Thi s
unbal ance may not be cri ti cal on one setup but
can be compounded i nto a consi derabl e error i f
the unbal ance conti nues over several setups. By
bal anci ng the si ght di stances at each i nstrument
setup, i f possi bl e, and the sums of the BS and FS
di stances at every opportuni ty, you wi l l keep these
errors to a mi ni mum.
8. Earths curvature. Thi s produces an error
onl y on unbal anced si ghts i n l evel i ng. When the
BS di stances are constantl y greater than FS
di stances, or vi ce versa, a greater systemati c
error resul ts, especi al l y when the si ghts are l ong.
To el i mi nate thi s error, you must mai ntai n a
bal anced si ght di stance i n every BS and FS
readi ng, not just thei r sum total between BMs (the
error vari es di rectl y as the square of the di stance
from the i nstrument to the rod).
9. Atmospheri c refracti on. Thi s error al so
vari es as the square of the di stance but opposi te
i n si gn ( + or ) to that caused by the earths
curvature. The effect of atmospheri c refracti on
i s onl y one-seventh of that caused by the earths
curvature. I n fi rst- and second-order l evel i ng, the
effect of refracti on i s mi ni mi zed by taki ng the BS
and FS readi ngs i n qui ck successi on and avoi di ng
readi ngs near the ground. (They shoul d be taken
at l east 2 ft from the ground.)
10. Vari ati on i n temperature. I f a porti on of
the tel escope i s shaded and some parts are exposed
to the suns rays, i t produces some warpi ng effect
on the i nstrument that may affect i ts l i ne of si ght.
Thi s effect i s negl i gi bl e i n ordi nary l evel i ng; but
i n l evel i ng of hi gher preci si on, thi s effect may
produce appreci abl e error. Thi s i s one of the
reasons why surveyors use an umbrel l a to shi el d
the i nstrument when doi ng more refi ned work.
BASIC ENGINEERING SURVEYS
AND CONSTRUCTION SITE SAFETY
An engi neeri ng survey forms the fi rst of a
chai n of acti vi ti es that wi l l ul ti matel y l ead to a
compl eted structure of some ki nd, such as a
bui l di ng, a bri dge, or a hi ghway. An engi neeri ng
survey i s usual l y subdi vi ded i nto a DESI GN-
DATA SURVEY an d a CONSTRUCTI ON
SURVEY.
Thi s secti on di scusses the basi c engi neeri ng
surveys commonl y performed by an EA survey
party i n support of mi l i tary constructi on acti vi ti es.
I n addi ti on, vari ous types of occupati onal hazards
rel ati ng to speci fi c surveyi ng operati on are al so
pr esented i n thi s secti on together wi th the
precauti ons or appl i cabl e abatement procedures
that must be carri ed out to deter i njury to the
survey crew and/or damage to surveyi ng equi p-
ment or materi al .
HIGHWAY SURVEYS
Surveys for roads and streets i nvol ve both fi el d
work and offi ce work. The extent of each type
of work depends on the magni tude and compl exi ty
of the job. Some phases of the work may be done
ei ther i n the fi el d or i n the offi ce, and the
deci si on as to the exact procedures to be fol l owed
wi l l be i nfl uenced by the number of personnel
avai l abl e and by the experi ence and capabi l i ti es
of the i ndi vi dual s i nvol ved.
Design-Data Survey
Thi s type of sur vey i s conducted for the
purpose of obtai ni ng i nformati on that i s essenti al
for pl anni ng an engi neeri ng project or devel op-
ment and esti mati ng i ts cost. A typi cal desi gn-data
14-25
survey, for exampl e, i s a route survey requi red i n the
desi gn and constructi on of a parti cul ar road or hi ghway.
The i ni ti al acti vi ti es i ncl uded i n a route survey are as
fol l ows: reconnai ssance survey, prel i mi nary-l ocati on
survey, and fi nal -l ocati on survey.
On the other hand, a l ong establ i shed Navy base
mi ght al ready have wel l -marked hori zontal and verti cal
control networks and up-to-date topographi c maps
avai l abl e. Then per haps nei ther a r econnai ssance nor a
prel i mi nary survey woul d be requi red. The road coul d
probabl y be desi gned by usi ng the exi sti ng desi gn data,
and the fi el dwork woul d begi n wi th maki ng the fi nal
l ocati on survey. I n summary, the extent to whi ch data
i s al r eady avai l abl e i s an i mpor tant factor i n
deter mi ni ng what fi el d oper ati ons have to be
performed.
RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY. A recon-
nai ssance survey provi des data that enabl es desi gn
engi neers to study the advantages and di sadvantages of
a vari ety of routes and then to determi ne whi ch routes
are feasi bl e. You begi n by fi ndi ng al l exi sti ng maps that
show the area to be reconnoi tered. I n reconnai ssance,
studyi ng exi sti ng maps i s as i mportant as the actual
fi el dwor k . Studyi ng these maps and aer i al
photographs, i f any exi st, wi l l often el i mi nate an
unfavorabl e route from further consi derati on, thus
savi ng your reconnai ssance fi el d party much ti me and
effor t.
Contour maps gi ve essenti al i nformati on about the
rel i ef of an area. Aeri al photographs provi de a qui ck
means for prepari ng val uabl e sketches and overl ays for
your fi el d party. Di rect aeri al observati on gi ves you an
overvi ew of an area that speeds up l ater ground
reconnai ssance i f the regi on has al ready been mapped.
Begi n the study of a map by marki ng the l i mi ts of
the area to be reconnoi tered and the speci fi ed termi nal s
to be connected by the hi ghway. Note whether or not
there are any exi sti ng routes. Note ri dgel i nes, water
courses, mountai n gaps, and si mi l ar control features.
Look for terrai n that wi l l permi t moderate grades
wi thout too much excavati ng. Use si mpl i ci ty i n
al i gnment and have a good bal ance of cuts and fi l l s; or
use a profi l e arrangement that makes i t possi bl e to fi l l
depressi ons wi th the cut taken from nearby hi gh pl aces.
Mark the routes that seem to fi t the needs and that
shoul d be reconnoi tered i n the fi el d. From the map
study, determi ne grades, esti mate the amount of
cl eari ng requi red, and l ocate routes that wi l l keep
excavati on to a mi ni mum by taki ng advantage of terrai n
condi ti ons. Mark stream crossi ngs and marshy areas as
possi bl e l ocati ons for fords, bri dges, or cul verts.
Have the reconnai ssance fi el d party fol l ow the
route or routes marked earl i er duri ng the map study.
Fi el d reconnai ssance provi des you wi th an opportuni ty
for checki ng the actual condi ti ons on the ground and for
noti ng any di screpanci es i n the maps or aeri al
photogr aphs. Mak e notes of soi l condi ti ons,
avai l abi l i ty of constructi on materi al s, such as sand or
gravel , unusual grade or al i gnment probl ems, and
r equi r ements for cl ear i ng and gr ubbi ng. Take
photographs or make sketches of reference poi nts,
control poi nts, structure si tes, terrai n obstacl es,
l andsl i des, washouts, or any other unusual
ci rcumstances.
Your r econnai ssance sur vey par ty wi l l usual l y car r y
l i ghtwei ght i nstruments that are not preci se. Determi ne
by compass the di recti on and angl es. Determi ne the
approxi mate el evati ons by an aneroi d barometer or
al ti meter. Use an Abney hand l evel (cl i nometer) to
esti mate el evati ons and to project l evel l i nes. Other
useful i tems to carry are pocket tapes, bi nocul ars,
pedometer and pace tal l i es, cameras, watches, maps,
and fi el d notebooks.
Keep desi gn consi derati ons i n mi nd whi l e runni ng
a reconnai ssance survey. Remember that future
operati ons may requi re further expansi on of the route
system presentl y bei ng desi gned. Locate porti ons of
the new route, whenever possi bl e, al ong roads or trai l s
that al ready exi st. Locate them on stabl e, easi l y
drai ned, hi gh-beari ng-strength soi l s. Avoi d swamps,
marshes, l ow-beari ng-strength soi l s, sharp curves, and
routes requi ri ng l arge amounts of earthmovi ng.
Keep the need for bri dges and drai nage structures
to a mi ni mum. When the tacti cal si tuati on permi ts,
l ocate roads i n forward combat zones where they can
be conceal ed and protected from enemy fi re.
The report you turn i n for the reconnai ssance fi el d
party must be as compl ete as possi bl e; i t provi des the
major data that makes the sel ecti on of the most feasi bl e
route or routes possi bl e.
PRELIMINARY SURVEY. A prel i mi nary
survey i s a more detai l ed study of one or more routes
tentati vel y sel ected on the basi s of a reconnai ssance
survey report. I t consi sts essenti al l y of surveyi ng and
mappi ng a stri p of l and al ong the center l i ne of
tentati vel y sel ected route.
Some of the acti vi ti es associ ated wi th
pr el i mi nar y sur vey ar e as fol l ows: r unni ng
a
a
a
14-26
traverse (someti mes cal l ed a P-l i ne or survey base
l i ne), establ i shi ng BMs, runni ng profi l es, and
taki ng cross secti ons. For many projects, the
prel i mi nary survey may be conducted by a transi t-
tape party al one. Other projects may requi re a
l evel party and a topographi c party.
Normal l y, the data gathered from a prel i mi nary
survey are pl otted whi l e the party i s i n the fi el d,
Thi s practi ce gi ves a more accurate representati on
of the terrai n, reduces the possi bi l i ty of error, and
hel ps to resol ve any doubtful si tuati ons whi l e you
are actual l y observi ng the terrai n.
FINAL-LOCATION SURVEY. The fi nal -
l ocati on sur vey, usual l y cal l ed th e l ocati on,
consti tutes a conti nuous operati on; or, i n other
words, the survey operati on goes on from the start
of the project through to the end of the actual
constr ucti on. The l ocati on sur vey consi sts of
establ i shi ng the approved l ayout i n the fi el d, such
as provi di ng the al i gnment, grades, and l ocati ons
that wi l l gui de the constructi on crew.
The EAs tasked wi th fi nal -l ocati on survey
normal l y start (ti me and di stance) ahead of the
constructi on crew. Thi s i s often done to save
constructi on ti me and to avoi d del ay of schedul ed
acti vi ti es. Some of these acti vi ti es are setti ng
stakes to mark the l i mi ts of fi nal earthmovi ng
operati ons to l ocate structures and establ i shi ng
fi nal grades and al i gnment.
Before maki ng the fi nal -l ocati on survey, you
shoul d make offi ce studi es consi sti ng of the
preparati on of a map from prel i mi nary survey
data, projecti on of a tentati ve al i gnment and
profi l e, and prel i mi nary esti mates of quanti ti es
and costs. Use thi s i nformati on as a gui de for the
fi nal l ocati on phase. The fi nal l ocati on i n the fi el d
i s careful l y establ i shed by your transi t party,
usi ng the paper l ocati on pr epar ed fr om the
prel i mi nary survey. The center l i ne may vary
from the paper l ocati on because of objects or
condi ti ons that were not previ ousl y consi dered;
but these changes shoul d not be made by you, the
surveyor, wi thout the authori ty of the engi neeri ng
offi cer .
Office Work
After the type and gener al l ocati on of a
hi ghway are deci ded and the necessary desi gn data
i s obtai ned i n the fi el d, a number of offi ce tasks
must be performed. These tasks i ncl ude the
fol l owi ng:
1. Pl otti ng the pl an vi ew
2. Pl otti ng the profi l e
3. Pl otti ng the al i gnment
4. Desi gni ng the gradi ents
5. Pl otti ng the cross secti ons
6. Determi ni ng end areas
7. Computi ng the vol umes of cut and fi l l
Repeat these operati ons one or more ti mes as
tri al desi gns are devel oped and then revi sed or
di scarded. For a hi ghway pl an and profi l e, pl ot
on the same sheet. Fi gure 14-22 shows a pl otted
hi ghway pl an and profi l e vi ew. Pl otti ng cross
secti ons i s di scussed l ater i n thi s chapter.
PLOTTING THE PLAN VIEW. Pl otti ng
the pl an vi ew of a hi ghway i s si mi l ar to a traverse
except for the i ntroducti on of topographi c detai l s,
curves, and curve data. As a study of hi ghway
curves and curve data i s beyond the scope of thi s
TRAMAN (but wi l l be studi ed at the EA2 l evel ),
suffi ce i t to say that the i mportant el ements of
the curve are shown i n the form of notes at each
curve poi nt. (See the pl an vi ew, fi gure 14-22.)
Figure 14-22.-Plan and profile for a highway.
14-27
PROFILE PLOTTING. Make profi l e pl otti ng
on regul ar profi l e paper that has rul ed hori zontal
and verti cal paral l el l i nes, as shown i n fi gure
14-22. Verti cal l i nes are spaced 1/4 or 1/2 i n.
apart; hori zontal l i nes are spaced 1/20 or 1/10 i n.
apart. I n fi gure 14-22, the verti cal l i nes on the
ori gi nal paper (reduced i n si ze for reproducti on
i n thi s book) were 1/4 i n. apart. On the ori gi nal
paper, there was a hori zontal l i ne at every 1/20-i n.
i nterval ; for the sake of cl ari ty, onl y those at every
1/4-i n. i nterval have been reproduced.
For the fi rst consi derati on i n profi l e pl otti ng,
sel ect sui tabl e hori zontal and verti cal scal es
for the profi l e paper. The sui tabi l i ty of scal es
vari es wi th the character of the ground and other
factors. I n fi gure 14-22, the hori zontal scal e
used was 1 i n. = 400 ft, and the verti cal scal e
used was 1 i n. = 20 ft (r educed i n si ze for
reproducti on i n thi s book). Normal l y, to faci l i tate
the pl an pl otti ng, choose scal es that are propor-
ti onal numbers i n mul ti pl es of ten, such as those
gi ven above (H, 1 i n. = 400 ft, and V, 1 i n. = 20 ft).
Wri te the stati ons and el evati ons, as shown i n
fi gure 14-22.
Pl ot the profi l e, usual l y from profi l e l evel
notes, though you may pl ot i t from the el evati ons
obtai ned from the contour l i nes. Assume that
profi l e l evel notes i ndi cate the fol l owi ng center-
l i ne el evati ons at the fol l owi ng stati ons from
5 + 00 through 15 + 00.
As you can see, an el evati on was taken at every
ful l stati on and al so at every pl us where there was
a si gni fi cant change i n el evati on. Can you see now
how i mportant i t i s to fol l ow thi s l ast procedure?
I f an el evati on had not been taken at 8 + 75, the
drop that exi sts between 8 + 00 and 9 + 00 woul d
not show on the profi l e.
Check through the l i sted el evati ons, and see
how each of them was pl otted as a poi nt l ocated
where a verti cal l i ne i ndi cati ng the stati on i nter-
sected a hori zontal l i ne i ndi cati ng the el evati on
of that stati on. Note, too, that usual l y stati ons
are l abel ed where the l i ne crosses hi ghways,
streams, and rai l roads.
Besi des the profi l e of the exi sti ng terrai n, the
verti cal tangents of the proposed hi ghway center
l i ne have been pl otted. The end el evati on for each
of these (that i s, the el evati ons of poi nts of
verti cal i ntersecti on [PVI ]) were determi ned by the
desi gn engi neers. Vari ous ci rcumstances were
consi der ed. One of the i mpor tant ones was
faci l i tati ng, as much as possi bl e, the fi l l i ng of each
depressi on wi th an approxi matel y equal vol ume
of cut taken from a nearby hump or from two
nearby humps.
The gradi ent, i n terms of percentage of sl ope
(total ri se or fal l i n feet per 100 hori zontal feet),
i s marked on each of the verti cal tangents. Thi s
percentage i s computed for a tangent as fol l ows.
For the tangent runni ng from stati on 6 + 00 to
stati on 18 + 00, the total ri se i s the di fference i n
el evati on, or
The hori zontal di stance between the stati ons i s
1,200 ft. The percentage of sl ope, then, i s the
val ue of x i n the equati on
For a tangent runni ng from stati on 18 + 00
to stati on 26 + 00, the total sl ope downward i s
the di fference i n el evati on, or
The di stance between the stati ons i s 800 ft. The
percentage of sl ope then i s the val ue of x i n the
equati on
14-28
Figure 14-23.-Typical design cross section.
TYPES OF CROSS SECTIONS. Fi gur e
14-23 shows a typi cal desi gn cross secti on, Just
about everythi ng you need to know to construct
the hi ghway, i ncl udi ng the materi al s to be used
and thei r thi cknesses, i s gi ven here.
However, thi s desi gn secti on i s a secti on of the
compl eted hi ghway. For the purpose of staki ng
out and for earthmovi ng cal cul ati ons, the cross-
secti on l i ne of the exi sti ng gr ound at each
successi ve stati on must be pl otted; the desi gn data
cross secti on (typi cal secti on of the hi ghway) i s
then superi mposed.
The cross secti on of the road, wi th desi gn data
avai l abl e from a previ ous desi gn-data survey, i s
staked out by an EA survey party, preferabl y the
l evel i ng crew. Fi gure 14-24 shows a desi gned cross
secti on of a 40-ft-wi de road taken from a stati on
or poi nt al ong the road center l i ne. The el evati on
of the exi sti ng surface i s 237.4 ft al l the way
across; therefore, thi s i s cal l ed a l evel secti on.
Fi ni shed grade for the hi ghway at thi s stati on
that i s, the proposed center-l i ne el evati on for the
fi ni shed hi ghway sur facei s 220.4 ft. The
prescri bed si de-sl ope rati o i s 1.5:1; that i s; a
hori zontal uni t of 1.5 for every uni t of verti cal
ri se.
Because the ground l i ne across the cross
secti on i s l evel and the si de-sl ope rati o i s the same
on both si des, the hori zontal di stance from the
center l i ne to the poi nt where the si de sl ope wi l l
meet the natural surface wi l l be the same on both
si des. A sl ope stake i s dri ven at thi s poi nt to gui de
the earthmovers. The hori zontal di stance from the
center l i ne to a sl ope stake can be computed by
methods that wi l l be expl ai ned l ater.
I n the case of thi s desi gned cross secti on, the
data avai l abl e to you are
1. the wi dth of the hi ghway,
2. the si de-sl ope rati o, and
3. the proposed fi ni shed grade.
Besi des thi s, al l you need to k now to set
sl ope stakes i s the gr ound el evati on of the
sl ope-stake poi nt on each si de. Because the
el evati on of the l evel secti on i n fi gure 14-24
i s the same on both si des, onl y a si ngl e-
l evel shot for el evati on i s needed. For thi s
reason, a secti on of thi s ki nd i s cal l ed ei ther
a one-l evel secti on, or just a l evel secti on.
Because the enti re secti onal area consi sts of
materi al to be excavated or CUT, i t i s cal l ed
a secti on i n cut.
Figure 14-24.-Level section in cut.
14-29
Figure 14-25.-Three-level section in cut.
Figure 14-26.-Level section in fill.
I n the secti on shown i n fi gure 14-25, the
ground l i ne across the secti on i s sl opi ng rather
than l evel . Therefore, to pl ot thi s secti on, you
woul d need three di fferent el evati ons: one for the
l eft sl ope stake, one for the center-l i ne grade
stake, and one for the ri ght sl ope stake. I f these
three l evel s are taken, the secti on i s cal l ed a three-
l evel secti on i n cut. I f addi ti onal l evel s are taken
mi dway between the center l i ne and the sl ope stake
on ei ther si de, i t i s cal l ed a fi ve-l evel secti on i n
cut. Therefore, i t i s a secti on i n cut because the
enti r e cr oss-secti onal ar ea consi sts of cut.
Level , three-l evel , and fi ve-l evel secti ons are
cal l ed regul ar secti ons.
Fi gure 14-26 shows a l evel secti on i n fi l l ; fi gure
14-27 shows a three-l evel secti on i n fi l l . The
secti on shown i n fi gure 14-28 consi sts of both cut
and fi l l and i s cal l ed a si dehi l l secti on.
When a more accurate pi cture of cross secti ons
than can be obtai ned from regul ar secti ons i s
desi red, i rregul ar secti ons are taken and pl otted.
For an i rregul ar secti on you take, besi des the
regul ar l evel s, addi ti onal l evel s on ei ther si de of
the center l i ne. You take these at set i nterval s and
at major breaks i n the ground l i ne.
Cross secti ons may be prel i mi nary or fi nal .
Prel i mi nary cross secti ons, from the P-l i ne or
survey base l i ne, are i rregul ar secti ons that
are pl otted before the fi ni shed grade has been
determi ned. They may be obtai ned by l evel s run
i n the fi el d or by el evati ons found on the contour
l i nes of a topographi c map.
Fi nal cross secti ons are secti ons of the fi nal
road desi gn. They may be prepared i n the same
manner as prel i mi nary secti ons, or they may be
regul ar secti ons pl otted from fi el d data obtai ned
after the fi ni shed grade has been set. The term
final cross section i s al so appl i ed to as -bu i l t
secti ons taken after constructi on i s compl eted.
PLOTTING CROSS SECTIC)NS. Cr oss
secti ons are usual l y pl otted on cross-secti on paper,
whi ch comes ei ther i n rol l s or sheets. I t i s rul ed
i nto 1-i n. squares wi th heavy, orange or green
14-30
Figure 14-27.-Three-level section in fill.
Figure 14-28.-Sidehlll section.
l i nes and wi th l i ghter l i nes i nto 1/10-i n. squares,
Cross-secti on paper i s commonl y cal l ed 10- x 10-i n,
paper .
Pl ot each cross secti on separatel y; and bel ow
each pl ot, show the stati on number. Pl ace the
fi rst cross secti on at the top of a sheet and
conti nue downwar d unti l you pl ot al l the
secti ons. Two or more secti ons may be pl otted
on th e s ame s h eet. I n a maj or h i gh way
pr oject, pl ot cr oss secti ons on a conti nuous
r ol l of cr oss-secti on paper . Some sur veyor s
pr efer to pl ot the cr oss secti ons fr om the
bottom to the top of the paper. They may al so
prefer to record cross-secti on notes i n the same
manner. I f you fol l ow these methods of pl otti ng
and recordi ng, you are properl y ori ented wi th the
actual di recti on of the hi ghway; that i s, your l eft
i s al so towards the l eft of the hi ghway; i t i s al so
to the l eft of the cross-secti on notes and the
pl otted cross secti on. Real l y, i t doesnt matter
whi ch method you fol l ow as l ong as you are
properl y ori ented to the di recti on of the hi ghway
at al l ti mes.
Unl i k e pr ofi l e pl otti ng, i n cr oss-secti on
pl otti ng, the same scal e i s often used for both the
verti cal and the hori zontal di stance. Common
scal es are 1 i n. = 5 ft and 1 i n. = 10 ft. When
secti ons are shal l ow, i t i s best to exaggerate the
verti cal scal e, maki ng i t from two to ten ti mes the
hori zontal scal e.
For the center l i ne for a row of secti ons, use
one of the heavi er verti cal l i nes on the paper far
enough away from the margi n so that no poi nts
pl otted wi l l run outsi de the l i mi ts of the paper.
Note the depths i ndi cated for the fi rst secti on to
be pl otted, and sel ect a hori zontal l i ne for the base
14-31
Figure 14-29.-A. Cross section notes. B. Cross sections plotted.
that i s about centered between the top and bottom
Fi nal l y, connect these pl otted poi nts by usi ng a
margi ns. Mark thi s wi th the base el evati on. Then
strai ghtedge or by drawi ng freehand l i nes.
l ay off the hori zontal di stances of the secti on
I n fi gure 14-29, vi ew A, cross-secti on notes are
surface el evati ons on ei ther si de of the center l i ne,
shown for the exi sti ng ground al ong a proposed
and pl ot the el evati ons by usi ng the l evel data.
road. I n fi gure 14-29, vi ew B, the secti ons at
14-32
stati ons 11 + 00 and 11 + 43 have been pl otted.
The fi el d party took, for each stati on, the ground
el evati on 40 ft to both the ri ght and to the l eft
of the center l i ne. For each stati on, however, the
center-l i ne di stance of the i ntermedi ate el evati ons
vari es. Therefore, these are i rregul ar secti ons.
For both of the stati ons pl otted, the HI was
76.70 ft. For the poi nt 6 ft l eft of the center l i ne
at stati on 11 + 00, note the 4.2 wri tten bel ow the
6. Thi s readi ng was obtai ned from a rod hel d on
thi s poi nt. The number 72.5 shown i n the
parentheses ri ght bel ow the number 4.2 i s the
el evati on of thi s poi nt. You obtai n the el evati on
by subtracti ng from the HI , the rod readi ng FS:
76.70 4.20, or 72.50
You can see thi s poi nt i s pl otted 6 ft to the l eft
of the center l i ne and at an el evati on of 72.5 ft
i n fi gure 14-29, vi ew B. Now i f the notes are
reduced i n the offi ce, the general practi ce i s to
pri nt the el evati ons i n RED; then the el evati on
just computed (72.5) wi l l appear i n red i n the
cross-secti on notes (fi g. 14-29, vi ew A).
After the road gradi ents, ei ther prel i mi nary
or fi nal , have been desi gned, pl ot the desi gn data
cross secti on on the exi sti ng ground l i ne secti on
pl ot at each stati on to compl ete the pi cture of the
end-area as i t wi l l be i n the fi ni shed hi ghway.
Obtai n the fi ni shed grade el evati on for each
stati on from the profi l e. Pl ot the fi ni shed grade
poi nt usual l y l ocated on the center at each cross
secti on. Then draw i n the outl i ne of the pavement
surface, di tches, and cut or fi l l sl opes as they show
on the typi cal desi gn secti on. Pl otti ng may be
done wi th tri angl es, but a faster method i s to use
templ ates made of pl asti c, thi n wood, sturdy
cardboard, or other sui tabl e materi al . Prepare
templ ates for a cut secti on, a fi l l secti on, and
a si dehi l l secti on that may be fl i pped over to
accommodate the di recti on of hi l l si de sl ope.
The procedures just descri bed are the most
common and per tai n to i r r egul ar secti ons.
However, i f regul ar secti ons have been taken i n
the fi el d after the gradi ents have been desi gned,
then both the exi sti ng and the fi ni shed surfaces
wi l l be pl otted. Fi el d notes for si mpl i fi ed three-
l evel secti ons on a hi ghway are shown i n fi gure
14-30. On the data si de, the profi l e el evati on and
the grade el evati on at each stati on are l i sted. I n
the col umns headed Left and Ri ght on the
Figure 14-30.-Field notes for three-level cross sections.
14-33
r emar ks si de, the upper number s wi th the
appropri ate l etter symbol s (C for cut, F for fi l l )
are the cuts or fi l l s; the l ower numbers are the
di stances out fr om the center . These val ues
i ndi cate poi nts at whi ch the sl ope stakes are
dri ven. I f a fi ve-l evel or i rregul ar secti on i s bei ng
recorded, the other poi nts must be wri tten between
those for the center and for the sl ope stakes.
These fi el d notes gi ven you the coordi nates
that you can use to pl ot secti ons, as shown i n
fi gur e 14-30. I n that fi gur e for pur poses of
cl ari ty, onl y the l i nes at every 1/4-i n. i nterval are
shown. The scal e, both hori zontal and verti cal ,
i s 1 i n. = 10 ft; therefore, the i nterval between
each pai r of l i nes represents 2.5 ft.
The hi ghway i s to be 40 ft wi de; therefore, the
edge of the pavement for each pl otted secti on wi l l
be 8 squares (8 x 2.5 = 20) on ei ther si de of the
center l i ne. Fi gure 14-30 shows that, for stati on
305, the l eft-hand sl ope stake i s l ocated 29.8 ft
from the center l i ne and 8.2 ft above grade. The
ri ght-hand sl ope stake i s l ocated 35.3 ft from the
center l i ne and 12.3 ft above grade. Note how the
l ocati ons of these stakes can be pl otted after you
have sel ected an appropri ate hori zontal l i ne for
the grade l i ne and how the si de sl opes can then
be drawn.
The ground l i ne at the center l i ne i s 9.3 feet
above grade. Pl ot a poi nt here, and then fi ni sh
the pl ot of the secti on by drawi ng l i nes from the
center-l i ne poi nt to the two sl ope stake poi nts.
Pl ot a fi ve-l evel secti on i n exactl y the same
way, except that you pl ot i n addi ti onal ground
poi nts between the center l i ne and the sl ope stakes.
Layout/Stakeout Procedures
The desi gn-data survey i s fol l owed by the
constructi on survey that consi sts broadl y of the
LAYOUT or STAKEOUT survey and the AS-
BUI LT survey, whi ch wi l l be di scussed l ater i n
thi s chapter. I n a l ayout survey, both hori zontal
and verti cal control poi nts are l ocated and marked
(that i s, staked out) to gui de the constructi on
crews. Fi gure 14-31 i denti fi es vari ous stakes and
hubs used i n hi ghway or road constructi on and
thei r typi cal arrangement. The functi ons of the
vari ous stakes and hubs are descri bed bri efl y as
fol l ows:
1. CENTER-LI NE STAKES i ndi cate the
exact center of the roadway constructi on.
2. SHOULDER STAKES are used to i ndi cate
the i nsi de edge of the roadway shoul ders. These
stakes are set opposi te each center-l i ne stake.
3. REFERENCE HUBS, as the name i mpl i es,
are used to reference other stakes or to ai d i n
establ i shi ng or reestabl i shi ng other stakes.
4. SLOPE STAKES mark the i ntersecti on of
si de sl opes wi th the natural ground surface. They
i ndi cate the earthwork l i mi ts on each si de of the
center l i ne.
5. RI GHT-OF-WAY STAKES i ndi cate the
l egal ri ght of passage and outmost bounds of
constructi on.
6. GRADE STAKES i ndi cate requi red grade
el evati ons to the constructi on crews. Duri ng the
fi nal gradi ng stage of constructi on, hubs cal l ed
bl ue tops are used i n l i eu of stakes. The bl ue
Figure 14-31.-Typical arrangement of various hubs and stakes on a road section (final grading).
14-34
tops are dri ven so that the top of the hub i s set
at the requi red grade el evati on.
7. GUARD STAKES are used to i denti fy and
protect hubs. The face of the stake i s marked
wi th stati on i denti fi cati on and i s pl aced so
that the stake faces the hub i t i denti fi es.
Someti mes more than one guard stake wi l l be
used to protect a hub.
8. OFFSET STAKES may be addi ti onal
stakes that are offset a known di stance from other
stakes that wi l l l i kel y be di stur bed dur i ng
constructi on. The offset stake i s marked wi th the
same i nformati on as the stake i t offsets, and i t
i s al so marked to show the offset di stance. Often,
stakes wi l l themsel ves be offset a known di stance
from thei r true l ocati on. Thi s el i mi nates the
requi rement for addi ti onal stakes.
CENTER-LINE LAYOUT. The fi rst major
step i n hi ghway constructi on i s usual l y the rough
gradi ng; that i s, the earthmovi ng that i s requi red
to br i ng the sur face up to, or down to, the
appr ox i mate el ev ati on pr es cr i bed for th e
subgrade. The SUBGRADE i s the surface of
natural soi l , or the pl ace where the pavement wi l l
be l ai d. The subgrade el evati on, therefore, equal s
gr ade (fi ni shed sur face) el evati on mi nus the
thi ckness of the pavement.
I n rough gradi ng, the equi pment operators are
usual l y gui ded by grade stakes that are set al ong
the center l i ne by the transi t-tape survey party at
center -l i ne stati ons. The center -l i ne stati ons
(stakes) are usual l y set at i nterval s of 100 ft or
more on strai ght-l i ne stretches and i nterval s of
50 ft or l ess on roads wi th hori zontal and verti cal
cur vatur es. On a smal l -r adi us, str eet-cor ner
curve, a center-l i ne hub or stake mi ght be set
at the center of the ci rcl e of whi ch the curve
i s a par t. Thi s i s done so the constr ucti on
crew may outl i ne the curve by swi ngi ng the
radi us wi th the tape. Reference stakes or hubs
are al so set on one or both si des of the center
l i ne to permi t reestabl i shment of the center l i ne
at any ti me.
Each center-l i ne stake i s marked wi th the
verti cal depth of cut or fi l l requi red to bri ng the
surface to grade el evati on. The surveyor must
i ndi cate the stati on marki ngs and the cut and fi l l
di recti ons on stakes. Lets l ook at the stakes on
the center l i ne of the road-bui l di ng job. The
starti ng poi nt i s the fi rst stati on i n the survey;
Figure 14-32.-Station markings.
thi s stati on i s numbered 0 + 00. The next stati on
i s normal l y 100 ft farther and i s marked 1 + 00;
the thi rd stati on i s another 100 ft farther and i s
marked 2 + 00; and so on. On sharp curves on
rough ground, the stakes may be cl oser together.
(See fi g. 14-32.) General l y, the stati on marki ngs
face the starti ng poi nt. The mark ~, whi ch i s
al so on the si de faci ng the starti ng poi nt, i s
used to i ndi cate that the stake i s a center-l i ne
stake.
A cut i s desi gnated by the l etter C, and the
fi l l i s i ndi cated by the l etter F. Numeral s fol l ow
the l etters to i ndi cate the amount that the ground
shoul d be cut or fi l l ed. The symbol C 13 i ndi cates
that the exi sti ng ground shoul d be cut 1.5 ft, as
measur ed fr om the r efer ence mar k. Dur i ng
rough gradi ng, the cut and fi l l are general l y
carri ed just up to the nearest hal f foot; exact grade
el evati ons are l ater marked wi th hubs (bl ue tops).
The mark Y i s cal l ed a crowfoot. The apex of
the V i ndi cates the di recti on of the requi red
change i n el evati on; so a cut i s i ndi cated by Y ,
and a fi l l i s i ndi cated by fi . I n some cases,
surveyors mark the grade stake onl y wi th a
negati ve or a posi ti ve number and the crowfoot,
i ndi cati ng the cut or fi l l .
14-35
Figure 14-33.Cut stake.
Figure 14-34.-Fillstake (not on centerline).
Fi gure 14-33 shows a cut stake that al so
happens to be a center-l i ne marker. Note that
stati on mark i s wri tten on the front of the stake
and the constructi on i nformati on on the back. On
grade stakes other than the center-l i ne stakes, the
constructi on i nformati on shoul d be wri tten on the
front and the stati on marked on the back.
The stake shown i n fi gure 14-34 i ndi cates that
fi l l operati ons are to be performed. The l etter F
at the top of the stake stands for fi l l . The numeral s
24 i ndi cate that 2 ft of fi l l are requi red to bri ng
the constructi on up to grade.
Some stakes i ndi cate that no cutti ng or fi l l i ng
i s requi red. Fi gure 14-35, for exampl e, shows a
grade stake that i s on the proper grade and al so
i s a center-l i ne stake. The word GRADE (or GRD)
i s on the back of the stake, and the crowfoot mark
may not be i ndi cated; some surveyors prefer to
use a crowfoot mark on al l grade stakes. I f thi s
Figure 14-35.-Stake on proper grade.
grade stake i s not a center-l i ne stake, the GRD
mark wi l l be wri tten on the front of the stake.
SETTING GRADE STAKES. GRADE
STAKES are set at poi nts havi ng the same ground
and grade el evati on. They are usual l y set after the
center l i ne has been l ai d out and marked wi th hubs
and guard stakes. They can be reestabl i shed i f the
markers are di sturbed. El evati ons are usual l y
determi ned by an engi neers l evel and l evel rod.
One procedure you can use for setti ng grade stakes
i s as fol l ows:
1. From BMs, turn l evel s on the center-l i ne
hubs or on the ground next to a grade stake at
each stati on.
2. Reduce the notes to obtai n hub-top or
ground el evati on.
3. Obtai n the fi ni shed grade el evati on for each
stati on from the constructi on pl ans.
4. Compute the di fference between fi ni shed
gr ade and the hub or gr ound el evati on to
determi ne the cut or fi l l at each stati on.
5. Go back down the l i ne and mark the cut
or fi l l on each grade stake or guard stake.
The el evati ons and the cuts or fi l l s may be
recorded i n the l evel notes, or they may be set
down on a constructi on sheet, as expl ai ned l ater
i n thi s chapter.
Another procedure may be used that combi nes
the method l i sted above so that the computati ons
may be compl eted whi l e at each stati on; then the
cut or fi l l can be marked on the stake i mmedi atel y.
As before, l evel s are run from BMs; the pro-
cedure at each stati on i s as fol l ows:
1. Determi ne the ground el evati on of the
stati on from the l evel notes to obtai n HI .
2. Obtai n the fi ni shed grade for the stati on
from the pl ans.
14-36
Figure 14-36.-Determining cut or fill from grade rod and
ground rod.
3. Compute the di fference between the HI
and fi ni shed grade; thi s verti cal di stance i s cal l ed
grade rod.
4. Read a rod hel d on the hub top or ground
poi nt for whi ch the cut or fi l l i s desi red. Thi s rod
readi ng i s cal l ed ground rod.
5. Determi ne the cut or fi l l by addi ng or
subtracti ng the grade rod and the ground rod,
accordi ng to the ci rcumstances, as shown i n fi gure
14-36.
6. Mark the cut or fi l l on the stake.
Duri ng the fi nal gradi ng, you wi l l most l i kel y
be worki ng wi th hubs cal l ed BLUE TOPS (fi g.
14-31). These hubs are dri ven i nto the ground unti l
the top i s at the exact el evati on of the fi ni shed
grade as determi ned by the surveyi ng crew. When
the top of the stake i s at the desi red fi ni sh grade
el evati on, i t i s col ored wi th bl ue l umber crayon
(keel ) to i denti fy i t as a fi ni shed grade stake. Other
col ors may be used, but be consi stent and use the
same col or keel throughout the project so as not
to confuse the Equi pment Operators. Bl ue tops
are normal l y provi ded wi th a guard stake to avoi d
di spl acement dur i ng constr ucti on wor k. The
guard stake usual l y shows the stati on and the
el evati on of the top of the hub. The el evati on and
stati on marki ngs may be requi red onl y at stati on
poi nts; otherwi se, al l that i s needed i s the bl ue top
and the guard stake wi th fl aggi ng.
The procedure for setti ng bl ue tops l ends i tsel f
pri mari l y to fi nal gradi ng operati ons. I t i s carri ed
out as fol l ows:
1. Study constructi on pl ans and center-l i ne
profi l es for each stati on to determi ne (1) the
exact profi l e el evati on and (2) the hori zontal
di stance from center l i ne to the edge of the
shoul der.
2. Measure the hori zontal di stance from the
center l i ne to the shoul der edge at each stati on,
and dri ve a grade stake at thi s poi nt on each
si de. Someti mes i t i s advi sabl e to offset these
stakes a few feet to avoi d di spl acement duri ng
constructi on.
3. Set the top of the stake even wi th the grade
el evati on, usi ng both the l evel and the rod. Thi s
i s accompl i shed by measuri ng down from the HI
a di stance equal to the grade rod (determi ned by
subtracti ng grade el evati on from the HI ). The
target on the rod i s set at the grade-rod readi ng;
the rod i s hel d on the top of the stake; and after
a few tri al s, the stake i s dri ven i nto the ground
unti l the hori zontal hai r of the l evel i ntersects the
rod l evel i ndi cated by the target. Col or the top
of a stake wi th bl ue crayon (keel ).
4. Where the tops of stakes cannot be set to
grade because grade el evati on i s too far bel ow or
above the ground l i ne, set i n ordi nary grade stakes
marked wi th the cut or fi l l as i n rough gradi ng.
However, for fi nal gradi ng, i t i s usual l y possi bl e
to set mostl y bl ue tops.
Where grade stakes cannot be dri ven, for
exampl e, i n hard coral or rock areas, use your
i ngenui ty to set and preserve grade marki ngs i n
a vari ety of condi ti ons. Marki ngs may often be
made on the rock i tsel f wi th a chi sel or wi th a keel .
SETTI NG SLOPE STAKES. SL OPE
STAKES are dri ven at the i ntersecti on of the
ground and each si de sl ope or offset a short
di stance; they i ndi cate the earthwork l i mi ts on
each si de of the center l i ne. The mi ni mum areas
to be cl eared and grubbed extend outward about
6 ft from the sl ope stakes.
14-37
Refer back to fi gure 14-31 and take a cl ose
l ook at the posi ti on of the sl ope stakes. The
hori zontal di stance of a sl ope stake from the
center l i ne vari es, and to determi ne what i t i s, you
must know three thi ngs.
1. The wi dth of the roadbed, i ncl udi ng wi dths
of shoul ders and di tches, i f any
2. The si de-sl ope rati o (expressed i n uni ts of
hori zontal run i n feet per foot of verti cal ri se or
fal l )
3. The di fference i n el evati on between the
grade for the road and the poi nt on the natural
ground l i ne where the sl ope stake wi l l be set
I n fi gure 14-37, vi ew A, d i s the hori zontal
di stance from the center l i ne to the sl ope stake,
W/2 i s the hori zontal di stance from the center l i ne
to the top of the sl ope, h i s the di fference i n
el evati on between the fi ni shed grade and the
ground at the sl ope stake, ands i s the sl ope rati o.
The product of h x s gi ves the run of the sl ope;
that i s, the hori zontal di stance the sl ope covers.
The hori zontal di stance (d) of the sl ope stake from
the center l i ne, then, equal s the sum of W/2 pl us
hs. For exampl e, suppose that W/2 i s 20 ft, h i s
10 ft, and the bank i s a 4:1 sl ope. Then
and
I n pr acti ce, you may have to take other
factors i nto account, such as transverse sl ope or
the crossfal l of the pavement (someti mes cal l ed
the crown), di tches, and so on. I n fi gure 14-37,
vi ew B, for exampl e, there i s a crossfal l (h=) across
W/2 so that the run (hori zontal di stance covered)
of the bank (hbs) i s the product of s x hb i nstead
of hs, as i n fi gure 14-31, vi ew A. The crossfal l
i s usual l y constant and may be obtai ned from the
typi cal desi gn sect i on shown on the pl ans.
Fi gure 14-37, vi ew C, shows a cut secti on i n
whi ch W/2 vari es wi th crossfal l , si de sl ope, di tch
depth, and back sl ope. For exampl e, assume that
the di stance from the center l i ne to the begi nni ng
of the si de sl ope i s 20 ft, that the cross fal l total s
1 ft, that di tch depth i s 1.5 ft, and that both the
si de sl ope and back sl ope rati os are 2:1. The
di s tan ce W/2, th en , compr i ses hor i zontal
segments as fol l ows:
1. From the center l i ne to the top of the sl ope
whi ch i s 20 ft
Figure 14-37.-Determining slope stake location (distance
from center line) for a proposed roadway.
2. Then to the di tch fl ow l i ne, whi ch equal s
the product of sl ope rati o (2) ti mes di tch depth
(1.5), or 3 ft
3. Then to the poi nt on the back sl ope that
i s l evel wi th the fi ni shed center l i ne, whi ch equal s
sl ope rati o (2) ti mes di fference i n el evati on; that
i s, crossfal l pl us di tch depth,
The total di stance, W/2, then, i s the sum of
SLOPE-STAKE PARTY PROCEDURE.
Sl ope stakes are usual l y set wi th an engi neers or
automati c l evel , a l evel rod, and a metal l i c or
nonmetal l i c tape. I n rough terrai n, a hand l evel
i s general l y used i nstead of an engi neers l evel .
14-38
I f the engi neers l evel i s used, three crew members
are general l y empl oyed for fi el dwork; they are the
i nstrumentman, the rodman, and one person to
hol d the zero end of the tape at the center l i ne.
When a hand l evel i s used, two persons can take
care of the jobthe i nstrumentman al so hol ds the
zer o end of the tape and i s posi ti oned at the
center-l i ne stati on as the rod readi ng i s taken. The
procedure fol l owed i s a tri al and error process.
Under fi el d condi ti ons, the rodman i s at ti mes as
much as 200 or 300 ft away from the i nstrument-
man. I f power equi pment i s operati ng nearby or
a wi nd i s bl owi ng, oral i nstructi ons cannot be
gi ven to the rodman about where to take tri al s
shots; i n fact, often there. i s not a cl ear vi ew of
the ground sl ope at the stati on bei ng worked.
Consequentl y, the r odman must know as
much as the i nstrumentman does about the theory
and practi ce of setti ng sl ope stakes. The speed and
effi ci ency of the party depend on the rodman
more than on any other member. The rodman
must be constantl y mental l y al ert.
The most practi cal fi el d procedure requi res
that the rodman know the val ue of W/2 and of
s (the sl ope rati o). Thi s i s not di ffi cul t, si nce these
val ues are usual l y constant for several stati ons,
and the rodman can be i nformed when they
change. A typi cal procedure for setti ng sl ope
stakes i s as fol l ows:
1. The i nstrumentman computes the center-
l i ne cut or fi l l , usi ng the HI , fi ni shed grade, and
the exi sti ng ground el evati on. Refer back to fi gure
14-36.
2. The i nstrumentman cal l s or si gnal s the
center-l i ne cut or fi l l to the rodman.
3. The r odman mental l y computes the
approxi mate val ue of d by mul ti pl yi ng h x s and
addi ng W/2. He pul l s the tape taut whi l e hol di ng
the tape at the computed di stances.
4. Noti ng the approxi mate ri se or fal l of the
ground, the rodman adjusts the approxi mate
val ue of d, moves to the d poi nt, and sets up the
rod for a tri al shot.
5. The i nstrumentman qui ckl y cal cul ates the
cut or fi l l at thi s poi nt and cal l s the val ue to the
rodman.
6. The r odman compar es thi s wi th the
esti mated cut or fi l l . He shoul d be fai rl y cl ose and
shoul d know at once whether to move toward,
or away from, the center l i ne. Havi ng a much
shorter di stance over whi ch to esti mate ground
sl ope, he agai n esti mates new cut or fi l l and
hs + W/2, and moves the r od to the new
d val ue.
Figure 14-38.-Setting slope stakes.
7. The i nstrumentman agai n gi ves the cut or
fi l l ; i f the val ue checks, the rodman cal l s or si gnal s
back the cut or fi l l and the di stance.
8. The i nstrumentman qui ckl y checks the two
val ues mental l y, and i f the val ues are correct,
records the val ues i n the fi el d book, si gnal i ng
Good to the r odman.
9. The rodman marks and dri ves the stake.
Wi th practi ce and on fai rl y smooth ground,
a good rodman wi l l sel dom mi ss the fi rst tri al by
more than 0.2 ft verti cal l y and wi l l , qui te often,
hi t the correct val ue on the fi rst tri al .
Fi gure 14-38 shows the appl i cati on of these
procedures to an actual si tuati on. The fol l owi ng
data are known for thi s sl ope-stake stakeout:
1. The stati on i s 15 + 00.
2. The W/2 (from the typi cal desi gn secti on)
i s 20 ft.
3. The sl ope rati o i s 1:1; therefore, s = 1.
4. The exi sti ng ground el evati on at the center
l i ne (from the previ ousl y run profi l e) i s 364.00 ft.
5. The HI i s determi ned to be 369.30 ft at that
setup.
14-39
The steps taken by the i nstrumentman and the
rodman are as fol l ows:
1. The i nstrumentman determi nes the center-
l i ne cut by subtracti ng 350.7 ft from 364.0 ft to
get the cut, or 13.3 ft.
2. The rodman hol ds at the center l i ne for
a check. The rod shoul d-read 369.3 (the HI ) mi nus
364.0, or 5.3 ft.
3. The i nstrumentman cal l s to the rodman,
Cut 13.3 feet.
4. The rodman computes
d= 20+(1 x 13.3) = 33.3
as he wal ks to the l eft.
5. As he approaches about 30.0 ft from the
center l i ne, he esti mates that the ground has a fal l
of 4 ft. Therefore, he computes the new cut as
13.3 4.0, or 9.3 ft.
Thi s means a new d of
20 + (1 x 9.3) = 29.3 ft.
6. The rodman sets up the rod 29.3 ft from
the center l i ne, as measured by metal l i c tape.
7. The i nstrumentman reads 10.1 on the rod
and computes the new cut as
369.3 (350.7 + 10.1), or 8.5 ft.
NOTE: Here you can al so use the grade rod
and ground rod val ues as expl ai ned earl i er; the
new cut then wi l l be
18.6 10.1 = 8.5 ft.
Refer back to fi gure 14-36.
8. The i nstrumentman cal l s, Cut 8.5, to
the rodman.
9. The rodman computes
d = 20 + (1 x 8.5) = 28.5 ft.
He knows, therefore, that 29.3 ft from the center
l i ne i s too far out.
10. Fi guri ng that the ground ri ses about 0.1
ft between 29.3 l eft and 28.5 l eft, the rodman
cal cul ates that the more nearl y correct cut wi l l be
8.5 + 0.1, or 8.6 ft.
11. By usi ng thi s cut, the rodman cal cul ates
the new d as
20 + (1 x 8.6),
and sets the rod at 28.6 ft l eft.
12. The i nstrumentman reads
and computes the new cut as
369.3 (350.7 + 10.0)
=
10.0 on the rod
8.6 ft.
13. The i nstrumentman cal l s, Cut 8.6, to
the rodman.
14. The rodman sees that the actual cut of 8.6
ft agrees wi th hi s esti mated cut of the same, and
cal l s, Cut 8.6 at 28.6, to the i nstrumentman.
15. The i nstrumentman checks
d = 20 + (1 x 8.6) = 28.6,
si gnal s the r odman, Good, and makes the
fol l owi ng entry i nto the fi el d book:
16. The rodman marks a stake wi th 15 + 00 and
C8
6
and dri ves i t i n the ground at 28.6 ft l eft.
More often, sl ope stakes may be set by usi ng
a hand l evel . Thei r di stances out are general l y
measured to the nearest hal f or tenth of a foot.
I f a sl ope stake i s pl aced i n an offset posi ti on, the
offset di stance i s al so marked on the stake so the
equi pment operator i s not confused about i ts
actual l ocati on. Sl ope stakes are sel dom used i n
areas requi ri ng l ess than 2 ft of cut or fi l l .
Curb and Gutter Stakeout
For a thoroughfare that wi l l have a curb and
gutter, these i tems are usual l y constructed before
the fi ni sh gradi ng i s done. The curb constructors
obtai n thei r l i ne and grade from offset hubs l i ke
those descri bed previ ousl y. Gui ded by these, the
earthmovers make the excavati on for the curb,
the formsetters set the forms, and the concrete
crew members pour, fi ni sh, and cure the curb.
Once the curb has been constructed, shapi ng
the subgrade to correct subgrade el evati on and
l ayi ng the pavement to correct fi ni shed grade i s
si mpl y a matter of measuri ng down the correct
di stance from a cord stretched from the top of
one curb to the top of the curb opposi te.
14-40
Pavement Stakeout
Pavement stakeout wi l l depend on the type of
pavi ng equi pment used. Steps i n the method
commonl y used for pavi ng concrete hi ghways are
as fol l ows:
1. Set a doubl e l i ne of steel si de for ms,
equi pped wi th fl anges that serve as tracts for
travel i ng pavi ng equi pment.
2. Fi l l the space between the for ms wi th
concrete poured from a concrete pavi ng machi ne
(commonl y cal l ed just a paver).
3. Spread the concrete wi th a mechani cal
spreader that travel s on the fl anges of the si de forms.
4. Fi ni sh the sur face wi th a fi ni sher , a
machi ne that al so travel s on the si de forms.
The l i ne-and-gr ade pr obl emthat i s, the
l ayout or stakeout probl emconsi sts pri nci pal l y
of setti ng the si de forms to correct l i ne wi th the
upper edges of the fl anges at the grade prescri bed
for the hi ghway. I f the fi ni shed grade shown on
the pl ans i s the center-l i ne grade, then the forms
are set wi th tops at the center-l i ne grade l ess the
crossfal l . I f the desi gn el evati ons are shown for
poi nts other than those on the center l i ne, the
form el evati on i s rel ated to the desi gn poi nts as
i ndi cated by the typi cal secti on.
Stakeout maybe done by setti ng a l i ne or l i nes
of offset hubs, as previ ousl y descri bed. Some-
ti mes, however, a l i ne of hubs i s dri ven al ong the
l i ne the forms wi l l occupy and dri ven to grade
el evati on l ess the depth of a si de form. The forms
are then set to the l i ne and the grade by si mpl y
pl aci ng them on the hubs.
Concrete pavi ng i s al so done by the sl i p form
method i n whi ch, i nstead of a compl ete doubl e
l i ne of forms, a sl i di ng or travel i ng secti on of
formwork i s an i ntegral part of the spreadi ng and
fi ni shi ng machi nery. The machi nery i s kept on l i ne
and the pavement fi ni shed at grade by a control
devi ce or devi ces. The l i ne control devi ce usual l y
fol l ows a wi re stretched between rods that are
offset from the pavement edge.
Forms are not usual l y used i n asphal t pavi ng.
Asphal t pavi ng equi pment, i n general , i s desi gned
to l ay the pavement at a gi ven thi ckness, fol l owi ng
the fi ne-graded subgrade surface. The manner i n
whi ch a gi ven pi ece of equi pment i s kept on l i ne
vari es, and the stakeout for equi pment vari es
accordi ngl y.
STRUCTURAL SURVEYS
A STRUCTURAL survey i s one that i s part
of the chai n of human acti vi ti es that wi l l bri ng
a structure, such as a bui l di ng, a bri dge, or a pi er
i nto exi stence.
Earthwork
As when a hi ghway i s bui l t, the fi rst major
step i n the constructi on of a structure i s usual l y
the rough gradi ngthat i s, the earthmovi ng
needed to bri ng the surface of the si te up to, or
down to, the approxi mate speci fi ed rough grade.
The stakeout for rough gradi ng i s commonl y
done by the GRI D method. The area to be graded,
whi ch i s shown, al ong wi th the prescri bed fi ni sh
grade el evati on on the si te or pl ot pl an i s l ai d off
i n 25-, 50-, or 100-ft gri d squares. The el evati on
at each corner poi nt i s determi ned; the di fference
between that and the prescri bed grade el evati on
i s computed; and a grade stake i s marked wi th
the depth of cut or fi l l ; then the stake i s dri ven
i nto the ground at the poi nt.
Building Stakeout
I f the structure i s a bui l di ng, the next major
step after the rough gradi ng i s the bui l di ng
stakeout; that i s, the l ocati ng and staki ng of the
mai n hori zontal control poi nts of the bui l di ng.
These are usual l y the pri nci pal corner poi nts pl us
any other poi nts of i ntersecti on between bui l di ng
l i nes.
The procedure fol l owed vari es wi th ci rcum-
stances. Fi gure 14-39 shows a si mpl e bui l di ng
Figure 14-39.-Building stakeout.
14-41
stakeout. Thi s si te pl an shows that the bui l di ng
i s to be a 40- by 20-ft rectangul ar structure,
l ocated wi th one of the l ong si des paral l el to, and
35 ft away from, a base l i ne. The base l i ne i s
i ndi cated at the si te and on the pl ans by
Monuments A and B.
One of the short si des of the bui l di ng wi l l l i e
on a l i ne runni ng from C, a poi nt on AB 15 ft
from A, perpendi cul ar to AB, The other short si de
wi l l l i e on a si mi l ar l i ne runni ng from D, a poi nt
on AB 40 ft from C and, therefore, 40 + 15, or
55 ft from A, perpendi cul ar to AB.
The steps i n the stakeout procedure woul d
probabl y be as fol l ows:
1. Set up the transi t at Monument A; trai n
the tel escope on a marker hel d on a Monument
B; then have the hubs dri ven on the l i ne of si ght,
one at C 15 ft from A, the other at D 55 ft from
A and 40 ft from C.
2. Shi ft the transi t to C, trai n on B, match
the zeros, and turn 900 l eft. Measure off 35 ft
from C on the l i ne of si ght and dri ve a stake to
l ocate E. Measure off 55 ft from C (or 20 ft from
E) and dri ve another stake to l ocate F.
3. Shi ft the tr ansi t to D and r epeat the
procedure descri bed i n Step 2 to l ocate and stake
poi nts G and H.
THE ACCURACY OF A RECTANGULAR
STAKEOUT CAN BE CHECKED BY MEA-
SURI NG THE DI AGONALS OF THE REC-
TANGLE. The di agonal s shoul d, of course, be
equal . You can determi ne what the correct l ength
of each di agonal shoul d be by appl yi ng the
Pythagorean theorem, as shown i n fi gure 14-39.
For a l arge rectangl e, checki ng the accuracy
of the stakeout by angul ar measurement wi th the
transi t may be more conveni ent. For exampl e:
You can determi ne the correct si ze of angl e GEH,
(l ets cal l i t a) i n fi gure 14-39 by a conveni ent
ri ght-tri angl e sol uti on, such as
The angl e wi th tangent 0.50000 measures (to the
nearest mi nute) 2634. Therefore, angl e FEH
shoul d measure
The correspondi ng angl es at the other three
corners shoul d have the same di mensi ons. I f the
si zes as actual l y measured vary at any corner, the
stakeout i s i naccurate.
Rememberi ng the angl es may be necessary to
obtai n the correct angul ar preci si on for the l engths
of the l i nes bei ng checked.
BATTER BOARDS are sui tabl e marks pl aced
for use as references or gui des duri ng the i ni ti al
excavati on and r ough gr adi ng of a bui l di ng
constructi on and/or a sewer l i ne stakeout. They
are more or l ess temporary devi ces that support
the stretched cords that mark the outl i ne and
grade of the structure.
Batter boards consi st of 2- by 4-i n. stakes
dr i ven i nto the gr ound. Each stak e has a
crosspi ece of 1- by 6-i n. l umber nai l ed to i t. The
14-42
Figure 14-40.-Batter boards.
s tak es ar e dr i v en abou t 3 to 4 ft away
fr om the bui l di ng l i ne wher e they wi l l not
be di stur bed by the constr ucti on. They ar e
dri ven far enough apart to straddl e the l i ne
to be mar k ed. Note i n fi gur e 14-40, onl y
thr ee stakes ar e dr i ven on outsi de cor ner s
because one of them i s a common post for
two di r ecti ons. The l ength of the stakes i s
determi ned by the requi red grade l i ne. They
must be l ong enough to accept the 1- by 6-i n,
crosspi ece to mark the grade. The 1- by 6-i n,
cr osspi ece i s cut l ong enough to j oi n both
stakes and i s nai l ed fi rml y to them after the
gr ade has been establ i shed. The top of the
crosspi ece becomes the mark from whi ch the
gr ade wi l l be measur ed. Al l batter boar ds
for one structure are set to the same grade or
l evel l i ne. A tr ansi t i s used to l ocate the
bui l di ng l i nes and to mark them on the top
edge of the cr osspi ece. A nai l i s dr i ven at
each of these marked poi nts, or a V notch i s
carved at the top outer edge of the crosspi ece
towar ds the mar k ed poi nt and the nai l i s
dri ven on the outer face of the board.
When a stri ng i s stretched over the top edge
of the two batter boards and i s hel d agai nst the
nai l s or agai nst the bottom of the notch, the stri ng
wi l l defi ne the outsi de bui l di ng l i ne and grade
el evati on.
Someti mes a tr ansi t i s not avai l abl e for
marki ng the bui l di ng l i ne on the batter boards,
but the corner stakes have not been di sturbed.
A cord i s stretched over two opposi te batter
boards, and pl umb bobs are hel d over the corner
stakes; then the bui l di ng l i ne can be transferred
to the batter boards. The cord i s moved on each
batter board unti l i t just touches both pl umb bob
stri ngs. Thi s posi ti on of the cords i s marked, and
nai l s are dri ven i nto the top of the batter boards.
Batter boards are set and marked as fol l ows:
1. After the corner stakes are l ai d out, 2-by
4-i n. stakes are dri ven 3 to 4 ft outsi de of each
corner. These are sel ected to bri ng al l crosspi eces
to the same el evati on.
2. These stakes are marked at the grade of the
top of the foundati on or at some whol e number
of i nches or feet above or bel ow the top of the
foundati on. A l evel i s used to mark the same grade
or el evati on on al l stakes.
3. One- by si x-i n. boards are nai l ed to the
stakes so the edge of the boards i s fl ush wi th the
gr ade mar k s .
4. The prol ongati on of the bui l di ng l i nes on
the batter boards i s l ocated by usi ng a transi t or
by usi ng a l i ne and pl umb bob.
5. Ei ther nai l s are dri ven i nto the top edges
of the batter boards or the boards are notched
to mark the bui l di ng l i ne.
UTILITIES STAKEOUT
UTI LI TI ES i s a general term appl i ed to
pi pel i nes, such as sewer, water, gas, and oi l
pi pel i nes; communi cati ons l i nes, such as tel ephone
or tel egraph l i nes; and el ectri c power l i nes.
Aboveground Utilities
For an aboveground uti l i ty, such as a pol e-
mounted tel ephone, tel egraph, or power l i ne, the
survey probl em consi sts si mpl y of l ocati ng the l i ne
hori zontal l y as requi red and marki ng the stati ons
where pol es or towers are to be erected. Often,
the di recti ons of guys and anchors maybe staked
as wel l , and someti mes pol e hei ght for verti cal
cl earance of obstructi ons i s determi ned.
Underground Utilities
For an underground uti l i ty, you wi l l often
need to deter mi ne both l i ne and gr ade. For
pressure l i nes, such as water l i nes, i t i s usual l y
necessary to stake out onl y the l i ne, si nce the
onl y grade requi rement i s that the prescri bed
depth of soi l cover be mai ntai ned. However,
staki ng el evati ons may be necessary for any
pressure l i nes bei ng i nstal l ed i n an area that
(1) i s to be graded downward or (2) i s to have
other, confl i cti ng underground uti l i ti es.
Gravi ty fl ow l i nes, such as storm sewer l i nes,
requi re staki ng for grade to be sure the pi pe i s
i nstal l ed at the desi gn el evati on and at the
gradi ent (sl ope) the desi gn requi res for gravi ty
fl ow through the pi pe.
Grade for an underground sewer pi pe i s gi ven
i n ter ms of the el evati on of the i nver t. The
I NVERT of the pi pe i s the el evati on of the l owest
14-43
Figure 14-41.-Use of batter boards (with battens) for utility shakeout.
part of the i nner surface of the pi pe. Fi gure 14-41
shows a common method of staki ng out an
underground pi pe. Noti ce that both al i gnment and
el evati on are faci l i tated by a l i ne of batter boards
and battens (smal l pi eces of wood) set at about
25- to 50-ft i nterval s. The battens, nai l ed to the
batter boards, determi ne the hori zontal al i gnment
of the pi pe when pl aced verti cal l y on the same si de
of the batter boards and wi th the same edges
di rectl y over the center l i ne of the pi pe. As the
work progresses, you shoul d check the al i gnment
of these battens frequentl y. A si ghti ng cord,
stretched paral l el to the center l i ne of the pi pe
at a uni form di stance above the i nvert grade, i s
used to transfer l i ne and grade i nto the trench.
The center l i ne of the pi pe, therefore, wi l l be
di rectl y bel ow the cord, and the sewer i nvert grade
wi l l be at the sel ected di stance bel ow the cord. A
MEASURI NG sti ck, al so cal l ed a grade pol e, i s
normal l y used to transfer the grade from the
si ghti ng cord to the pi pe (fi g. 14-41). The grade
pol e, wi th marki ngs of feet and i nches, i s pl aced
on the i nvert of the pi pe and hel d pl umbed. The
pi pe i s then l owered i nto the trench unti l the mark
on the grade pol e i s on a hori zontal l i ne wi th the
cor d.
Fi gure 14-42 shows another method of staki ng
out an underground sewer pi pe wi thout the use
of battens. Nai l s are dri ven di rectl y i nto the tops
of the batter boards so that a stri ng stretched
ti ghtl y between them wi l l defi ne the pi pe center
l i ne. The stri ng or cord can be kept taut by
wrappi ng i t around the nai l s and hangi ng a wei ght
14-44
Figure 14-42.-Batter boards (without battens) for utility stakeout.
on each end. Si mi l arl y, the stri ng (or cord) gi ves
both l i ne and grade.
CONSTRUCTION-SITE SAFETY
WARNING
AS-BUILT SURVEY
A fi ni shed str uctur e sel dom cor r esponds
exactl y to the ori gi nal pl ans i n every detai l .
Unexpected, usual l y unforeseeabl e di ffi cul ti es
often make vari ati ons from the pl ans necessary
or, occasi onal l y, vari ati ons may occur acci dental l y
that are economi cal l y unfeasi bl e to correct.
The purpose of an AS-BUI LT SURVEY i s to
record these vari ati ons. The as-bui l t survey shoul d
begi n as soon as i t becomes feasi bl emeani ng
that the actual hori zontal and verti cal l ocati ons
of features i n the compl eted structure shoul d be
determi ned as soon as the features are erected.
At ti mes, vari ati ons from the ori gi nal pl ans
are recorded on new traci ngs of the worki ng
drawi ngs, on whi ch as-bui l t data are recorded i n
the pl ace of the ori gi nal desi gn data when the
two happen to di ffer. Someti mes, reproducti ons
of the ori gi nal drawi ngs are used wi th vari ati ons
recorded by crossi ng out the ori gi nal desi gn data
and wri ti ng i n the as-bui l t data.
I n ei ther case, the term as-bui l t survey,
together wi th the date of revi si on, i s wri tten i n,
or near, the ti tl e bl ock.
A survey party worki ng at a construc-
ti on si te i s al ways i n a dangerous si tuati on.
Where bl asti ng or l oggi ng i s goi ng on, i nform
the powder crew or l oggi ng crew of the l ocati on
of the area i n whi ch surveyors are worki ng. Al so,
i nstruct the i ndi vi dual crew members of the survey
party to be on the al ert at al l ti mesparti cul arl y
to l i sten for the warni ng si gnal gi ven by a crew
usi ng powder to set off a charge or a l ogger fel l i ng
a tree.
When surveyi ng near hi ghways, rai l roads, or
ai rstri ps, use red fl aggi ng generousl y unl ess you
are worki ng i n a combat area. Pl ace fl aggi ng on
the l egs of your surveyi ng equi pment and at a few
pl aces al ong the tape. Put fl ags on rods and range
pol es. Attach some fl aggi ng to your hat and al so
to the back of your shi rt or jacket.
Thi nk constantl y of personal safety when
worki ng near heavy constructi on equi pment. Let
the equi pment operators know when surveyors are
i n the vi ci ni ty. Al so, al ert al l members of the
surveyi ng crew because an equi pment operator's
vi si on i s often
ment i tsel f.
obscured by dust or by the equi p-
14-45
When ascendi ng steep, rocky sl opes, do not
cl i mb di rectl y behi nd another crew member. I f the
crew member were to acci dental l y fal l , l oosen a
rock, or drop somethi ng, i t coul d mean seri ous
i njury to anyone di rectl y bel ow the crew member.
EXCAVATIONS
WARNING
When your work i nvol ves excavati on,
you shoul d observe defi ni te precauti ons to
prevent acci dents.
To avoi d sl i des or cave-i ns, support the si des
of the excavati ons 5 ft or more deep by substanti al
braci ng, shori ng, or sheet pi l i ng i f the si des are
steeper than the angl e of repose. The ANGLE OF
REPOSE i s the maxi mum angl e at whi ch materi al
wi l l repose wi thout sl i di ng. Trenches i n partl y
saturated or otherwi se hi ghl y unstabl e soi l shoul d
be stabi l i zed wi th verti cal sheet pi l i ng or sui tabl e
braces. Foundati ons of structures adjacent to
excavati ons shoul d be shored, braced, or under-
pi nned as l ong as the excavati on remai ns open.
Excavated or other materi al shoul d not be al l owed
to accumul ate cl oser than 2 ft from the edge of
an excavati on. I n a traffi c area use barri cades,
safety si gns, danger si gnal s, red l i ghts, or red
fl aggi ng on at l east two si des.
Do not enter a manhol e unti l you are certai n
that i t i s free from dangerous gases. Do not guess.
I f there i s any questi on at al l as to whether a
sewer i s free of gas, wai t for cl earance from a
competent authori ty. I f necessary, provi de fi rst
for thor ough venti l ati on. Do not smok e i n
manhol es; and i f i l l umi nati on i s requi red, use onl y
a safety fl ashl i ght or l antern.
Avoi d contact wi th ALL ELECTRI C wi ri ng.
Never throw a metal tape across el ectri c wi res; i f
you must chai n across wi ri ng, do i t by breaki ng
chai n. Avoi d pl aci ng yoursel f so that you mi ght
fal l across wi ri ng i n the event of an acci dent.
When wal ki ng, stay at l east 2 feet away from
th e edge of a v er ti cal ex cav ati on . Near
thoroughfares or wal kways, excavati ons shoul d
have temporary guardrai l s or barri cades; and i f
permi ssi bl e, dependi ng on combat condi ti ons, red
l i ghts or torches shoul d be kept al ongsi de from
sunset to sunri se.
TREE CLIMBING
Before cl i mbi ng a tree, be sure i t i s safe to
cl i mb, and careful l y cheek the condi ti on of the
br anches on whi ch you ar e l i kel y to stand.
Di fferent ki nds of wood vary greatl y i n strength.
Oak, hi ckory, and el m trees that have strong,
fl exi bl e wood are safer for cl i mbi ng than trees
such as popl ar, catal pa, chestnut, or wi l l ow, whi ch
have soft or bri ttl e wood. Li mbs of al l trees
become bri ttl e at l ow temperaturemeani ng that
they break more easi l y i n col d weather than they
do i n warm. Dead branches or those contai ni ng
many knots or fungus growths are usual l y weak.
When standi ng on a l i mb, have your feet as
cl ose to the parent trunk as possi bl e. Cl i mb wi th
speci al care when l i mbs are wet or i cy. Wear
goggl es when worki ng i n bushy trees; they may
prevent an eye i njury.
WARNING
Before cl i mbi ng a tree, be sure there are
no overhead wi res passi ng through i ts
fol i age. I f you MUST take a posi ti on i n
a tree wi thi n reach of l i ve wi re, pl ace some
sort of i nsul ati ng safety equi pment between
yoursel f and the wi re. DO NOT al l ow tree
l i mbs to contact l i ve wi r es because
moi sture i n a l i mb may cause a short
ci rcui t.
I f you r equi r e cutti ng tool s to cl ear a
worki ng space i n a tree, haul them up wi th a
handl i ne, and l ower them by the same devi ce.
Tool s shoul d never be thrown up i nto a tree or
down onto the ground.
UNDERGROUND AND
OVERHEAD LINES
I f a structure has an access openi ng and i s
bel ow the str eet, such as a manhol e or a
transformer vaul t, i t shoul d be protected by a
barri er or other sui tabl e guard when the cover to
the access openi ng i s removed.
CROSSING ICE
Do not cross i ce unl ess, and unti l , you are
certai n i t wi l l support your wei ght.
14-46
Both the thi ckness and the nature of i ce are An i ce l ayer usual l y becomes thi nner over cur-
i mportant i n determi ni ng i ts carryi ng capaci ty. rent, near banks of streams or l akes, over warm
Because part of the supporti ng power of i ce spri ngs, and over swampy ground. Rotten i ce that
i s deri ved from the water bel ow i t, a l ayer of i ce can be i denti fi ed by i ts dul l col or and honeycomb
that i s i n contact wi th the water surface i s safer texture has l i ttl e supporti ng power.
than one that has no contact wi th the water
surface. WORK SAFELYSTRESS SAFETY
14-47