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Orange cap found while benchmark hunting


russotto

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I was searching for a benchmark between two roads when I saw a set of four wooden posts with orange streamers attached. Guessing these to be witness posts, I checked them out. In the center of these posts was not a benchmark, but an orange cap on some sort of spike driven into the ground, with a pink ribbon either tied to it or (more likely) impaled by it.

 

The orange cap reads "T H C" on one line, "35079-E" on another, and has a dot in the middle. Any idea what this is? It must be reasonably important or there wouldn't be not one but four posts surrounding it.

 

(I didn't find the benchmark, unfortunately)

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The wooden stakes with streamers may have been there to mark somehting that had been surveyed, but they are not witness posts. Witness posts are more permanent and have more information on them. I've seen two variety of witness posts, old metal ones and newer fiberglass ones. Both types can be seen in my last foto of this log. Both types say "survey marker" and "do not disturb" and have contact info for the NGS (or coast and geodetic survey on older ones).

 

As for what you found in the middle of those stakes, I have no idea what it is. A marker of some sort, possibly for a future construction project.

 

I'm not lost!

I just don't know where I am.

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I've seen similar wooden markers described as witness posts at other benchmarks. I've also seen several of the metal ones with the information gone (that is, there's just an unmarked metal post remaining). The term "witness post" seems to be used generally for indicators of a nearby in-ground marker, not just for the specific ones now used with USGS markers.

 

A little looking around the web has convinced me that the plastic cap is indeed a survey cap. The only questions are who the heck put it there, and why? It's between US 422 (a highway) and another road, but it doesn't have PennDOT markings.

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From: http://www.don-imit.navy.mil/glossary/definition.asp?ssearch=E

 

eccentric station

Definition:

A survey point over which an instrument is centered and observations

made, and which is not in the same vertical line with the station which

it represents and to which the observations will be reduced before

being combined with observations at other stations. Ln general, an

eccentric station is established and occupied when it is impracticable

to occupy the station center, or when it becomes necessary in order

to see points which are not visible from the station center.

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Not sure what it looks like, but I've seen orange plastic caps on re-bar and other steel bars that (for some dadgum reason) are sticking out of the ground. They're there as a safety device to keep people from becoming impaled on them. In reality it's to keep impaled people from suing the person who pounded it there in the first place.

 

Just a thought.......

 

If your house catches afire, and there aint no water around,

If your house catches afire, and there aint no water around,

Throw your jelly out the window; let the dog-gone shack burn down.

**Huddie Ledbetter**

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The large orange plastic caps used for safety by steelworkers, which are sometimes round and sometimes square, are about 4 inches wide and have nothing to do with surveying. They are commonly found laying around on construction sites. The small plastic caps used by surveyors are 1 inch wide or less and are purely for identification purposes and have no safety value. Most surveyors always pound property corners down flush with the ground, both for safety and also in hope that the marker will remain in place permanently. Occasionally, usually for some particular reason, they are left sticking up above ground level.

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