Gravity and Geodetic Studies in India: Historical Observations and Advances During the Past Decade

  • N Srinivas
  • V M Tiwari
Keywords: India; Gravity; Geodesy; Geoid; Datum


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.


Arora B R, Kumar A, Rawat G, Kumar N and Choubey V M (2008) First observations of free oscillations of the earth from Indian superconducting gravimeter in Himalaya Current Science 95 1611-1617
Arora K, Tiwari V M, Mishra D C and Singh B (2006) Use of 3D interpretation techniques of the geopotential field in
mapping the offshore extent of the deccan volcanic province Journal of Geophysics 27 67-74
Arora K, Tiwari V M, Singh B, Mishra D C and Grevemeyer I (2012) Three dimensional lithospheric structure of the western continental margin of India constrained from gravity modelling: implication for tectonic evolution Geophysical Journal International 190 131-150
Asoka A, Gleeson T, Wada Y and Mishra V (2017) Relative contribution of monsoon precipitation and pumping to changes in groundwater storage in India Nature Geoscience 10 109-117
Aung T H, Singh A M and Prasad U W (2009) Sea level threat in Tuvalu American Journal of Applied Sciences 6 1169-1174
Banerjee C and Kumar D N (2014) Identification of prominent spatio-temporal signals in GRACE derived terrestrial water storage for India The International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences 40 333-338