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US Geological Survey Bench Mark


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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - www.usgs.gov, is a Federal agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Among their varied roles is the responsibility for the national mapping program. Since 1879 they have been tasked with the development of the U.S. national mapping program. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is in the Department of Commerce, and was founded in 1807 as the Survey of the Coast. The name was changed in 1836 to Coast Survey, 1878 to U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and finally in 1970 to NGS. NGS has the responsibility for the development, implementation and maintenance of the national horizontal and vertical geodetic datums. USGS has established tens of thousands of survey monuments tied to the national reference system defined by NGS. The USGS monuments were established almost exclusively to support the national mapping program and are in most cases of lowered accuracy than the work performed by NGS. Unfortunately, due in large part of significant budget cuts in the 1980's, very little of the USGS control work was ever submitted to NGS for inclusion in the National Spatial Reference System. With the growing capabilities of GPS, USGS sets very few monuments any more. One of their most interesting monumented surveys is the annual monumentation of the South Pole

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So, basically the USGS is a completely different department of the government, whose work has pretty much gone unused due to budget cuts. And, if I read you correctly, there are some USGS bench marks in the NGS database, but most aren't and probably never will be. Does that sum it up correctly?

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Yes and no.

 

USGS is part of the Interior department.

 

No the work has not gone unused.

 

It just has not been published in a database because of budget constraints. You can acquire the data from USGS.

 

The marks are in use by many, although it is of lower quality, it is still good data for many surveys. A vast majority of USGS are vertical control (elevation).

 

When I worked for the DOT, a USGS mark was just as important as any other mark. We often used them for our GPS control points.

 

If you have seen any of their information, its just typed descriptions and data on sheet of paper. Most that I have seen were typed up from the 50's to the 70's, probably by the crews. There are many marks per sheet and would be a huge task to put these in a database.

 

Here is a page from a quadrangle, you can see how the data is.

The numbers on the far left are the mileage from the starting point, the U.E. 12 E for example, means Useful Elevation. The elevation is in feet on 1929 NAVD (datum) on the far right.

 

btw-I have been unable to recover any of the marks on this page. I did find one from the next page and about 3 miles away from the lake. A PS and I were monitoring the lake level some years back when it was very high and the International Joint Great Lakes Commission (US-Canada) was keeping Lake superior at higher than normal levels, affecting shoreline owners.

 

usgs.jpg

 

[This message was edited by elcamino on July 02, 2003 at 01:54 PM.]

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i am on the road right now, but when i get back to my photo album, i will upload a shot of the South Pole marker that i took in 1999. i understand that the South Pole will be surveyed, but not marked any longer, as the mark is encroaching on the taxiway. the ice sheet moves about 10 meters a year there, so the mark has been getting 10 meters closer to the taxiway every year.

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quote:
Originally posted by MOCKBA:

How should one interpret this (Helicopters used by USGS in 1897 ?? ) for http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=LO1138

 

1897 by USGS (MONUMENTED)

DESCRIBED BY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1897 ... STATION REACHED BY HELICOPTER. STATION MARK--STANDARD USGS TABLET, NOT STAMPED, CEMENTED IN LARGE ROCK ...


I would interpret it as though the original monumented report was never found (all there was available was a date) and a later report got listed under the original monumented date.

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You think maybe it a typo and maybe should be 1987? Were they using survey disks in 1897???

 

Here is one with a error, it was recovered 20 yrs before it was monumented. 1954 is correct monument date.

 

DATABASE = Sybase ,PROGRAM = datasheet, VERSION = 6.79

1 National Geodetic Survey, Retrieval Date = JULY 10, 2003

QK0249 ***********************************************************************

QK0249 DESIGNATION - A 2

QK0249 PID - QK0249

QK0249 STATE/COUNTY- MI/MACKINAC

QK0249 USGS QUAD - ST IGNACE (1976)

QK0249

QK0249 *CURRENT SURVEY CONTROL

QK0249 ___________________________________________________________________

QK0249* NAD 83(1994)- 45 50 50.27400(N) 084 43 23.98667(W) ADJUSTED

QK0249* NAVD 88 - 177.331 (meters) 581.79 (feet) ADJUSTED

QK0249 ___________________________________________________________________

QK0249 LAPLACE CORR- -3.94 (seconds) DEFLEC99

QK0249 GEOID HEIGHT- -35.39 (meters) GEOID99

QK0249 DYNAMIC HT - 177.337 (meters) 581.81 (feet) COMP

QK0249 MODELED GRAV- 980,647.2 (mgal) NAVD 88

QK0249

QK0249 HORZ ORDER - FIRST

QK0249 VERT ORDER - FIRST CLASS II

QK0249

QK0249.The horizontal coordinates were established by classical geodetic methods

QK0249.and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in February 1997.

QK0249

QK0249.The orthometric height was determined by differential leveling

QK0249.and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in June 1991.

QK0249

QK0249.The Laplace correction was computed from DEFLEC99 derived deflections.

QK0249

QK0249.The geoid height was determined by GEOID99.

QK0249

QK0249.The dynamic height is computed by dividing the NAVD 88

QK0249.geopotential number by the normal gravity value computed on the

QK0249.Geodetic Reference System of 1980 (GRS 80) ellipsoid at 45

QK0249.degrees latitude (g = 980.6199 gals.).

QK0249

QK0249.The modeled gravity was interpolated from observed gravity values.

QK0249

QK0249; North East Units Scale Converg.

QK0249;SPC MI N - 120,792.991 8,176,806.554 MT 0.99993188 +1 38 44.0

QK0249;UTM 16 - 5,079,602.006 676,770.859 MT 0.99998417 +1 38 02.0

QK0249

QK0249: Primary Azimuth Mark Grid Az

QK0249:SPC MI N - MACKINAW CITY MUNICIPAL TANK 178 31 46.6

QK0249:UTM 16 - MACKINAW CITY MUNICIPAL TANK 178 32 28.6

QK0249

QK0249|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

QK0249| PID Reference Object Distance Geod. Az |

QK0249| dddmmss.s |

QK0249| QK0736 MACKINAC IS GRAND HOTEL TANK APPROX. 7.5 KM 0862642.3 |

QK0249| QK0726 ROUND ISLAND LIGHT APPROX. 8.4 KM 0931116.9 |

QK0249| QK0734 MACKINAW CITY MUNICIPAL TANK APPROX. 7.1 KM 1801030.6 |

QK0249|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

QK0249

QK0249 SUPERSEDED SURVEY CONTROL

QK0249

QK0249 NAD 83(1986)- 45 50 50.26683(N) 084 43 23.98582(W) AD( ) 1

QK0249 NAD 27 - 45 50 50.22400(N) 084 43 23.80900(W) AD( ) 1

QK0249 NGVD 29 - 177.373 (m) 581.93 (f) ADJ UNCH 1 2

QK0249

QK0249.Superseded values are not recommended for survey control.

QK0249.NGS no longer adjusts projects to the NAD 27 or NGVD 29 datums.

QK0249.See file dsdata.txt to determine how the superseded data were derived.

QK0249

QK0249_U.S. NATIONAL GRID SPATIAL ADDRESS: 16TFR7677179602(NAD 83)

QK0249_MARKER: P = PIPE CAP

QK0249_SETTING: 17 = SET INTO TOP OF METAL PIPE DRIVEN INTO GROUND

QK0249_STABILITY: D = MARK OF QUESTIONABLE OR UNKNOWN STABILITY

QK0249

QK0249 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

QK0249 HISTORY - 1954 MONUMENTED MIDH

QK0249 HISTORY - 1934 GOOD NGS

QK0249 HISTORY - 1956 SEE DESCRIPTION CGS

QK0249

QK0249 STATION DESCRIPTION

QK0249

QK0249'DESCRIBED BY MI DEPT OF HIGHWAYS 1954 (CTH)

QK0249'STATION IS SITUATED 1.5 MILES WEST OF ST. IGNACE AT THE NORTHERN END

QK0249'OF THE MOLE

QK0249'SECTION COMPRISING THE NORTHERN APPROACH TO THE PROPOSED

QK0249'STRAITS OF MACKINAC BRIDGE.

QK0249'THIS POINT IS THE ORIGINAL NORTHERN POINT

QK0249'DESIGNATING THE CENTERLINE OF THE BRIDGE AND

QK0249'WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE MICHIGAN

QK0249'STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT. THE MARK IS A 2-BY 48-INCH IRON PIPE

QK0249'WITH CAP,

QK0249'WITH TRIANGLE AND PUNCHMARK INSCRIBED ON TOP. THIS MARK IS 8

QK0249'FEET BELOW THE PRESENT

QK0249'GROUND LEVEL, ACCESS TO SAME BY BRICK-SIDED CIRCULAR

QK0249'MANHOLE WITH STANDARD SEWER MANHOLE

QK0249'COLLAR AND LID. THE PIPE

QK0249'MARKER IS SET IN CONCRETE, WITH JUST THE CAP

QK0249'PROTRUDING FROM THE CONCRETE.

QK0249'UNLESS TRANSFERRED TO THE BRIDGE LEVEL LATER THIS MARKER WILL

QK0249'BE

QK0249'INACCESSIBLE AFTER THE BRIDGE IS COMPLETED.

QK0249

QK0249 STATION RECOVERY (1934)

QK0249

QK0249'RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1934

QK0249'1.5 MI W FROM ST IGNACE.

QK0249'1.5 MILES WEST OF ST. IGNACE, MACKINAC COUNTY, AT THE NORTHERN

QK0249'END OF THE MOLE SECTION COMPRISING THE NORTHERN APPROACH TO THE

QK0249'PROPOSED STRAITS OF MACKINAC BRIDGE, THE NORTHERN POINT

QK0249'DESIGNATING THE CENTERLINE OF THE BRIDGE, 8 FEET BELOW THE

QK0249'PRESENT GROUND LEVEL, ACCESS TO SAME BY BRICK-SIDED CIRCULAR

QK0249'MANHOLE WITH STANDARD SEWER MANHOLE COLLAR AND LID. A 2- BY

QK0249'48-INCH IRON PIPE WITH CAP, WITH TRIANGLE AND PUNCHMARK INSCRIBED

QK0249'ON TOP, SET IN CONCRETE WITH JUST THE CAP PROTRUDING.

QK0249'NOTE-- UNLESS THIS MARK IS TRANSFERRED TO THE BRIDGE LEVEL

QK0249'LATER, THIS MARKER WILL BE INACCESSABLE AFTER THE BRIDGE IS

QK0249'COMPLETED.

QK0249

QK0249 STATION RECOVERY (1956)

QK0249

QK0249'RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1956 (WNM)

QK0249'THE STATION MARK WAS RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED AND FOUND IN GOOD

QK0249'CONDITION. THE AREA IS

QK0249'STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND THE DESCRIPTION IS ADEQUATE AT THE

QK0249'PRESENT TIME.

QK0249'

QK0249'MR. JACK KENNY, BRIDGE ENGINEER, STATES THAT THE CIRCULAR MANHOLE

QK0249'THAT IS BUILT AROUND THE

QK0249'STATION MARK WILL BE EXTENDED UP TO THE BRIDGE APPROACH AND THE

QK0249'STATION MARK WILL BE PRESERVED.

 

*** retrieval complete.

Elapsed Time = 00:00:02

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quote:
Originally posted by elcamino:

You think maybe it a typo and maybe should be 1987? Were they using survey disks in 1897???


This is exactly what I thought, 8 swapped with 9, and that the use of terms 'standart tablet' / 'survey disk' will let the pros see thru it. Anybody can second this?

I also thought that USGS had no business in these desolate mountains this early, since Uinta Mts. are made of a huge flat mass of pre-cambrian quartzites, and you just don't find gold or silver in this stuff. But I wasn't 100% correct on this point, there was after all an early USGS connection.

Apparently High Uintas were straight in the path of the military Fortieth Parallel Geological Survey in late 1860's. And C. King, after whom the state high point in the High Uintas was later named, led this survey (later to become the first head of United States Geological Survey, when it was created in 1879). And King investigated rumors of diamond fields on Uinta northern slopes, kind of in the neighborhood of LO1138, in early 1870s (it turned out to be one of our region's famous geo-frauds). But the time window is wrong again. These activites have long been over by 1897, or even by the time USGS itself was established.

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