Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Harsh K. Gupta

Gravity, Data to Anomalies

  • Ron HackneyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10475-7_78-1


Gravity anomaly. The difference between gravity measured at a point and a model value at that point that is based on the normal gravity of a reference ellipsoid, corrected for the gravity effects of elevation above the reference ellipsoid and the mass of rock between the point and the reference ellipsoid.


The study of anomalous gravity has its roots in geodesy where it is used to determine the shape of the Earth (see “Geodesy, Physical” and “Geodesy, Figure of the Earth”). Gravity anomalies have also proved extremely useful in the interpretation of subsurface geological structure at various scales. Like many geophysical techniques, resource exploration has been the greatest driver of the use of gravity data (e.g., Nabighian et al. 2005). Gravity anomalies are often useful in the early stages of an exploration program as they provide insight into the form of low-density sediment accumulations (basins) or the location of high-density ore deposits. At larger...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Petroleum and Marine DivisionGeoscience AustraliaCanberraAustralia