Gravity surveys using a mobile atom interferometer

Science Advances
By: , and 

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Abstract

Mobile gravimetry is important in metrology, navigation, geodesy, and geophysics. Atomic gravimeters could be among the most accurate mobile gravimeters, but are currently constrained by being complex and fragile. Here, we demonstrate a mobile atomic gravimeter, measuring tidal gravity variations in the laboratory as well as surveying gravity in the field. The tidal gravity measurements achieve a sensitivity of 37 μGal/√Hz (1 μGal=10 nm/s2) and a long-term stability of better than 2 μGal, revealing ocean tidal loading effects and recording several distant earthquakes. We survey gravity in the Berkeley Hills with an uncertainty of around 0.04 mGal and determine the density of the subsurface rocks from the vertical gravity gradient. With simplicity and sensitivity, our instrument paves the way for bringing atomic gravimeters to field applications.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Gravity surveys using a mobile atom interferometer
Series title Science Advances
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.aax0800
Volume 5
Issue 9
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description eaax0800, 10 p.