301-a2 - GY 301: Geomorphology Lab 2: Using the Pocket...

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GY 301: Geomorphology Lab 2: Using the Pocket Transit Clinometer to Measure Elevation Difference Page 1 of 3 Pace distance Adjacent side Clinometer angle Opposite side Eye height Height of Tree = Eye Height + Adjacent Side x Tan(Clinometer angle) Introduction The pocket transit (i.e. Brunton Compass) contains a clinometer for measuring vertical angles to a precision of +/- one degree (better if using a tripod). This capability may be used to calculate elevation changes with a few simple trig calculations. Consider Figure 1 below: All that is needed to calculate the height of an object is 1) the pace distance of the adjacent side of the right triangle, and 2) the clinometer angle as measured from the end of the adjacent side to the top of the target object. Hold the pocket transit body vertical and then sight the target through the peephole. Use the sighting arm and reference line on the mirror to align on the target. Adjust the clinometer while observing the level bubble in the mirror so that it is centered, and then read off the clinometer angle on the degree scale (the scale that has a range of 0-90). For maximum accuracy your pace distance should be approximately the same distance as the height of the target. Avoid very short pace distances for the adjacent side. To complete the height calculation you will need to measure your eye height with a tape measure. If necessary, convert your eye
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301-a2 - GY 301: Geomorphology Lab 2: Using the Pocket...

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