Gravity and Geodetic Studies in India: Historical Observations and Advances During the Past Decade
Gravimetry and Geodesy deal with the mass distribution and transport in the dynamic Earth system and determination of Earth’s shape and size. Since the 18th century, Indian scientists have been extensively contributing to the progress of Gravity and Geodetic studies. This article discusses the historical geodetic developments and summarizes the efforts that involve measurements and modelling of gravity and geodetic data in India over the past decade, using conventional land surveys to satellite observations. Historical obsevations, such as the Great Trigonometrical Survey during 1790-1850 for defining geodetic reference frame and gravity and geodetic observations in the Himalayan region (1830-1843) for hypothesising the concept of Isostasy, are phenomenal contributions made from studies in India. Recent studies are largely focused on understanding of subsurface mass distributions and mass variability due to different geophysical phenomenon, refining of geodectic datum, continental deformation and resource exploration.
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