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Chapter: Civil Surveying : Advanced Topics in Surveying

Principles Behind Terrestrial Photogrammetry

The principle of terrestrial photogrammetry was improved upon and perfected by Capt. Deville, then Surveyor General of Canada in 1888. In terrestrial photogrammetry, photographs are taken with the camera supported on the ground.



The principle of terrestrial photogrammetry was improved upon and perfected by Capt. Deville, then Surveyor General of Canada in 1888. In terrestrial photogrammetry, photographs are taken with the camera supported on the ground. The photographs are taken by means of a photo theodolite which is a combination of a camera and a theodolite. Maps are then compiled from the photographs.


The principle underlying the method of terrestrial photogrammetry is exactly similar to that of plane table surveying, i.e. if the directions of same objects photographed from two extremities of measured base are known, their position can be located by the intersection of two rays to the same object. However, the difference between this and plane tabling is that more details are at once obtained from the photographs and their subsequent plotting etc. is done by the office while in plane tabling all the detailing is done in the field itself.


Thus in Fig , A and B are the two stations at the ends of base AB. The arrows indicate the directions of horizontal pointing (in plan) of the camera. For each pair of pictures taken from the two ends, the camera axis is kept parallel to each other. From economy and speed point of view, minimum number of photographs should be used to cover the whole area and to achieve this, it is essential to select the best positions of the camera stations. A thorough study of the area should be done from the existing maps, and a ground reconnaissance should be made. The selection of actual stations depends upon the size and ruggedness of the area to be Surveyed. The camera should be directed downward rather than upward, and the stations should be at the higher points on the area.


The terrestrial photogrammetry can be divided into two branches:

(i)               Plane-table photogrammetry.


(ii)             Terrestrial stereo photogrammetry


The plane table photogrammetry consists essentially in taking a photograph of the area to be mapped from each of the two or three stations. The photograph perpendiculars may be oriented at any angle to the base, but usually from an acute angle with the latter. The main difficulty arises in the identifications of image points in a pair of photographs. In the case of homogeneous areas of sand or grass, identification becomes impossible. The principles of stereo photogrammetry, however, produced the remedy.


In terrestrial stereo photogrammetry, due to considerable improvement of accuracy obtained by the stereoscopic measurement of pairs of photographs, the camera base and the angles of intersection of the datum rays to the points to be measured can be considerably reduced since the camera axes at the two stations exhibit great similarity to each other. The image points which are parallactically displaced relative to each other in the two photographs are fused to a single spatial image by the stereoscopic measurement.


shore line survey?


The shore line surveys consist of:


(i)       Determination or delineation of shore lines,


(ii)   Location of shore details and prominent features to which soundings   may  be



(iii)  Determination of low and high water lines for average spring tides,





The determination or delineation of shore lines is done by traversing along the shore and taking offsets to the water edge by tape, or stadia or plane table. If the river is narrow, both the banks may be located by running a single line of traverse on one bank. For wide rivers, however, transverse may be run along both the banks. The traverse should be Connected at convenient intervals to check the work. Thus, the Fig.  two traverses XY and X


- Y-- along the two opposite shores may be checked by taking observations from A and B to the points C and D. When the instrument is at B, angles ABC and ABD can be measured. From the measured length of AB and the four angles, the length CD can be calculated. If this agrees with the measured length of CD, the work is checked. Sometimes, a triangulation net is run along a wide river. In sea shore survey, buoys anchored off the shore and light houses are used as reference points and are located by triangulation.


In the case of tidal water, it is necessary to locate the high and low water lines. The position of high water line may be determined roughly from shore deposits and marks on rocks. To determine the high water line accurately, the elevation of mean high water of ordinary spring tide is determined and the points are located on the shore at that elevation as in direct method of contouring. The low water line can also be determined similarly. However, since the limited time is available for the survey of low water line, it is usually located by interpolation from soundings.



Sounding and the methods employed in sounding.


The measurement of depth below the water surface is called sounding. This corresponds to the ordinary spirit leveling in land surveying where depths are measured below a horizontal line established by a level. Here, the horizontal line or the datum is the surface of water, the level of which continuously goes on changing with time. The object of making soundings is thus to determine the configuration of the sub aqueous source. As stated earlier, soundings are required for:


(i)     Making nautical charts for navigation;


(ii) Measurement of areas subject to scour or silting and to ascertain the quantities of dredged material;


(iii)         Making sub-aqueous investigations to secure information needed for the construction, development and improvement of port facilities.


For most of the engineering works, soundings are taken form a small boat. The equipment needed for soundings are:


(i) Sounding boat                    (ii) Sounding rods or poles


(iii) Lead lines       (iv) Sounding machine

(v)  Fathometer.


Sounding boat


A row-boat for sounding should be sufficiently roomy and stable. For quiet water, a flat bottom boat is more suitable, but for rough water round-bottomed boat is more suitable. For regular soundings, a row boat may be provided with a well through which sounds are taken. A sounding platform should be built for use in smaller boat. It should be extended far enough over the side to prevent the line from striking the boat. If the currents are strong, a motor or stream launch may be used with advantage.


Sounding rods or poles


A sounding rod is a pole of a sound straight-grained well seasoned tough timber usually 5 to 8 cm in diameter and 5 to 8 metres long. They are suitable for shallow and quiet waters. An arrow or lead shoe of sufficient weights fitted at the end. This helps in holding them upright in water. The lead or weight should be of sufficient area so that it may not sink in mud or sand. Between soundings it is turned end for end without removing it from the water. A pole of 6 m can be used to depths unto 4 meters.



Lead lines


A lead line or a sounding line is usually a length of a cord, or tiller rope of Indian hemp or braided flax or a brass chain with a sounding lead attached to the end. Due to prolonged use, a line of hemp or cotton is liable to get stretched. To graduate such a line, it is necessary to stretch it thoroughly when wet before it is graduated. The line should be kept dry when not in use. It should be soaked in water for about one hour before it is used for taking soundings. The length of the line should be tested frequently with a tape. For regular sounding, a chain of brass, steel or iron is preferred. Lead lines are usually used for depths over about 6 meters.


Sounding lead is a weight (made of lead) attached to the line. The weight is conical in shape and varies from 4 to 12 kg depending upon the depth of water and the strength of the current. The weight should be somewhat streamlined and should have an eye at the top for attaching the cord. It often has cup-shaped cavity at the bottom so that it may be armed with land or tallow to pick up samples from the bottom. Where the bottom surface is soft, lead-


filled pipe with a board at the top is used with the lead weight. The weight penetrates in the mud and stops where the board strikes the mud surface.


Suggested system of marking poles and lead lines


The U.S. Coast and Geodetic survey recommends the following system of marking the poles and the lead lines :


Poles : Make a small permanent notch at each half foot. Paint the entire pole white and the spaces between the 2- and 3-, the 7- and 8-and the 12- and 13-ft marks black. Point '' red bands at the 5- and 10-ft marks, a '' in black band at each of the other foot marks and '' bands at the half foot marks. These bands are black where the pole is white and vice versa.

Lead Lines : A lead line is marked in feet as follow :

Feet    Marks

2, 12, 22 etc            Red bunting

4, 14, 24 etc            White bunting

6, 16, 26 etc            Blue bunting

8, 18, 28 etc            Yellow bunting

10, 60, 110 etc       One strip of leather

20, 70, 120 etc       Two strips of leather

30, 80, 130 etc       Leather with two holes

40, 90, 140 etc       Leather with one holes

50       Star-shaped leather

100     Star-shaped leather with one hole

The intermediate odd feet (1,3,5,7,9 etc.) are marked by white seizing.

Sounding Machine


Where much of sounding is to done, a sounding machine as very useful. The sounding machine may either be hand driven or automatic. Fig.4.3. show a typical hand driven Weddele's sounding machine.


The lead weight is carried at the end of a flexible wire cord attached to the barrel and can lowered at any desired rate, the speed of the drum being controlled by means of a break.


The readings are indicated in two dials-the outer dial showing the depth in feet and the inner showing tenths of a foot. A handle is used to raise the level which can be suspended at any height by means of a paul and ratchet. The sounding machine is mounted in a sounding boat and can be used up to a maximum depth of 100 ft.


Fathometer: Echo-sounding

A Fathometer is used in ocean sounding where the depth of water is too much, and to make a continuous and accurate record of the depth of water below the boat or ship at which it is installed. It is an echo-sounding instrument in which water depths are obtained be determining the time required for the sound waves to travel from a point near the surface of the water to the bottom and back. It is adjusted to read depth on accordance with the velocity of sound in the type of water in which it is being used. A fathometer may indicate the depth visually or indicate graphically on a roll which continuously goes on revolving and provide a virtual profile of the lake or sea.



What are the components of echo sounding instrument? Briefly explain the advantages of echo sounding.


The main parts of an echo-sounding apparatus are:


1. Transmitting and receiving oscillators.


2.     Recorder unit.


3.     Transmitter / Power unit.


Figure illustrates the principal of echo-sounding. It consists in recording the interval of time between the emission of a sound impulse direct to the bottom of the sea and the reception of the wave or echo, reflected from the bottom. If the speed of sound in that water is v and the time interval between the transmitter and receiver is t, the depth h is given by

h = vt

Due to the small distance between the receiver and the transmitter, a slight correction is necessary in shallow waters. The error between the true depth and the recorded depth can be calculated very easily by simple geometry. If the error is plotted against the recorded depth, the true depth can be easily known. The recording of the sounding is produced by the action of a small current passing through chemically impregnated paper from a rotating stylus


to an anode plate. The stylus is fixed at one end of a radial arm which revolves at constant speed. The stylus makes a record on the paper at the instants when the sound impulse is transmitted and when the echo returns to the receiver.


Advantage of echo-sounding

Echo-sounding has the following advantages over the older method of lead line and



1. It is more accurate as a truly vertical sounding is obtained. The speed of the vessel does deviate it appreciably from the vertical. Under normal water conditions, in ports and harbors an accuracy of 7.5 cm may be obtained.


2. It can be used when a strong current is running and when the weather is unsuitable for the soundings to be taken with the lead line.


3. It is more sensitive than the lead line.


4.  A record of the depth is plotted immediately and provides a continuous record of the bottom as the vessel moves forward.


5. The speed of sounding and plotting is increased.


6. The error due to estimation of water level in a choppy sea is reduced owing to the instability of the boat.


7.   Rock underlying softer material is recorded and this valuable information is obtained more cheaply than would be the case where sub-marine borings are taken.


Making the soundings


If the depth is less than 25 m, the soundings can be taken when the boat is in motion. In the case of soundings with rod the leadsman stands in the bow and plunges the rod at a forward angle, depending on the speed o the boat, such that the rod is vertical when the boat reaches the point at which soundings is being recorded. The rod should be read very quickly. The nature of the bottom should also be recorded at intervals in the note-book.


If the sounding is taken with a lead, the leadsman stands in the bow of the boat and casts the lead forward at such a distances that the line will become vertical and will reach the bottom at a point where sounding is required. The lead is withdrawn from the water after the reading is taken. If the depth is great, the lead is not withdrawn from the water, but is lifted between the soundings.


The water surface, which is also the reference datum, changes continuously. It is, therefore, essential to take the readings of the tide gauges at regular interval so that the soundings can be reduced to a fixed datum. To co-relate each sounding with the gauge reading, it is essential to record the time at which each sounding is made.


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