Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to gravimeter: gravimetric analysis


1. an instrument for measuring the earth's gravitational field at points on its surface
2. an instrument for measuring relative density



an instrument for the relative measurement of the acceleration due to gravity. Most gravimeters consist of accurate spring or torsion balances.

Differences in the acceleration due to gravity are measured by means of such gravimeters according to the change in the deformation of a spring or the angle of twist of an elastic thread that are compensating the force of gravity on a small weight. Measurements are made first at a starting point, for which the acceleration due to gravity is known, and then at the point being studied. The main difficulty in constructing a gravimeter is the need to provide precise measurement of small elastic deformations under field conditions. Optical, photoelectric, capacity, and inductive means of recording are used. Gravimeters are used that are based on measurement of the change in frequency of vibration of a string from which a weight is suspended or of the change in rate of precession of gyroscopic instruments because of different forces of gravity at the different points of measurement. The best gravimeters are sensitive to within a few ten-thousandths of a milligal.

There are special gravimeters for measuring the force of gravity at the bottom of shallow bodies of water, in surface and submarine vessels, and in airplanes. For measurements from moving objects, gravimeters are equipped with auxiliary apparatus that records the inclination of the base of the instrument and the acceleration caused by rolling. Some gravimeters make possible the continuous recording of solar-lunar variations in gravity over a period of several months. To calibrate gravimeter readings, measurements are made at points for which the difference in the acceleration due to gravity is known or at a single point with different inclinations of the gravimeter.

Surface and borehole gravimeters provide measurements of the acceleration of gravity that are accurate to 0.01 milligal; sea-bottom gravimeters, to 0.05 milligal; marine shipmounted gravimeters, to 0.5 milligal; and airborne gravimeters, to 5 milligals.


Lukavchenko, P. I. Gravimetricheskaia razvedka na neft’ i gaz. Moscow, 1956.
Veselov, K. E., and M. U. Sagitov. Gravimetricheskaia razvedka. Moscow, 1968.
Spravochnik geofizika, vol. 5. Moscow, 1968.



A highly sensitive weighing device used for relative measurement of the force of gravity by detecting small weight differences of a constant mass at different points on the earth. Also known as gravity meter.
References in periodicals archive ?
2013, The European Comparison of Absolute Gravimeters 2011 (ECAG-2011) in Walferdange, Luxembourg: results and recommendations.
The Estonian Land Board (ELB) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) of the USA are thanked for the Scintrex and LCR gravimeter respectively, Geosoft Ltd.
Three points of the I order network were observed with a JILAg-5 absolute gravimeter by the FGI.
Further work on developing a social science gravimeter is needed in GST.
As a result of this design change, the commercially manufactured absolute gravimeter now satisfied Abbe's dictum: If you want to measure something in a particular direction, then build the apparatus along that direction and avoid measuring in orthogonal directions, which will likely introduce cross-couplings such as--in the case of the "side-by-side" JILAg gravimeter--a tilt sensitivity.
The FG5 gravimeter reaches a nominal accuracy of 1.
Gravity acceleration, g, is determined by a commercial gravimeter [15], which records the trajectory of a corner cube dropped in a vacuum.
In this work the following gravimeters were used; three La Coste & Romberg G-114 and G-143 models borrowed from the Brazilian Geographic and Statistic Institute (IBGE), G-372 of the Federal University of Parana and a Scintrex digital gravimeter, model CG-3 , borrowed from the Laboratory of Geophysics Research of the Federal University of Parana.
This gravimeter offered an ideal way to look for subtle motions of Earth's surface.
Tenders are invited for Procurement Of Autograv Gravimeter
Relative gravity testing was done every 10m along profiles of about 500m in longitude, using a Worden gravimeter.
On the sensitivity characteristics of Lacoste & Romberg gravimeter (Model G.