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By M. J. Keen and J. A. Jacobs (Auth.)

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In g are expressed relative to those values which would be obtained upon a particular geometrical figure, an ellipsoid, which coincides approximately with sea-level over the oceans and with the geometrical projection of sea-level over the continents. T h e difference between the value of g measured and the value on this ideal reference ellipsoid is the gravity anomaly. The anomaly may be expressed in various ways. If the value of g which would have been observed had the observation been at sea-level is calculated, the difference is the free-air anomaly.

Were the earth exactly spherical and either uniformly dense throughout or composed of spherical shells each of uniform density, then the acceleration at the surface of an earth of radius R and mass M would be g= 2 G(M/R ). , 2 then g is found to be rather less than 1000 cm/s , the precise figure depending upon the value of R which is taken. The earth is not exactly spherical, or uniformly dense or composed of uniformly dense shells. The value of the acceleration g towards the centre of the earth is not constant over the surface of the earth, and the direction of the acceleration towards the centre of the earth does not coincide with the direction which is normal to the earth's surface.

T h e temperature gradient might lead to convection of the water in the sediment, and heat would be generated by metabolizing organisms. T h e gradient would have to be rather large for the first effect, and the organic content of typi( 3 8) cal oceanic sediment is too low for the second effect to be important. Errors in the actual measurement of heat-flow arise in the estimation of the temperature gradient and in measurement of conductivity. Von ( 3 3 0) Herzen and Langseth estimate that in areas of average geothermal gradient (0-06°C/m), where the probe penetrates sediment in which the conductivity is relatively uniform, these errors are about 10%.

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