Gross Errors: Definition, Types and Examples

By Mukul Yadav|Updated : January 12th, 2023

Gross Errors are termed blunders or mistakes in measurement. In the surveying works, different types of measurements need to be taken. These measurements may contain several errors caused by various sources. The source of errors can be the human source or errors in instruments. Gross errors can also be termed as all the errors that occur in a particular measurement of the surveying.

A measurement in surveying should be free from gross errors before its use for calculation purposes. Gross errors or blunders or very unpredictable in the measurement. It can cause due to human mistakes, and it must be avoided for the correct measurement. This article contains all the information related to gross errors in surveying.

What are Gross Errors?

Gross errors or blunders are errors in the measurement that arise due to the surveyor's carelessness and can not be corrected. The Law of probability also can not be applied to gross errors. These are unpredictable and can’t be estimated. Due to gross errors, a large impact on the measurement can be seen, so it should be avoided in the measurement.

Gross error can also occur if the surveyor works over a long time, and due to tiredness, improper measurement can occur. It can also occur due to mistakes in the setting of the instruments. Correct reading taken by the improperly adjusted instrument leads to incorrect reading and the generation of gross errors.

Gross Error Definition

Gross errors can be defined as the blunders or mistakes occurred by the human being during the measurement. As per the GATE exam, Gross errors are generally not categorized in terms of the types of errors because no theory of errors applies to gross errors. The measurement can observe gross errors even by taking high-precision instruments.

Measurement consisting of the blunders must be revised before the calculation work using that observation. These errors can only be checked during the overall check of the survey data. But small errors still remain undetected.

Gross Errors in Measurement

Gross measurement errors are the blunders that can occur due to the mistake taken by the surveyor during the measurement. Gross measurement errors can occur due to the carelessness of the surveyor or due to the improper adjustment of the instrument while taking the observations. Here, different measurement errors as per the GATE CE syllabus are explained below.

Gross Errors in Measurement

Types of Gross Errors

As mentioned in the theory of errors, Gross errors are blunders that can cause by various reasons during the measurement of the survey work. An incorrect measurement taken by surveyors mainly causes gross errors. Based on the generation of the blunders, the gross error can be classified into the following types.

  • It can occur due to misreading the measurement.
  • This may be due to incorrect adjustments to the instruments
  • It can occur due to improper application of the instruments
  • It can occur due to computational mistakes during the calculation of survey data

Example of Gross Errors

As we know, gross errors are the blunders caused by improper measurement or surveyors' mistakes. A gross error check can be done during the computational of the surveying data. For example, if the surveying data of 114.30 is written as 140.30 by mistake, it will be considered a blunder. Here a few examples of blunder mistakes are given below.

  • Improperly leveling the surveying instrument.
  • Setting up the instrument or target over the wrong control point.
  • Incorrectly entering a control point number in the data collector.
  • Transposing numbers or misplacing the decimal point.
Other Important GATE Notes
SteelZero Force Member In A Truss
Water loggingCreep of Concrete
Geometric Design Of HighwaysRandom vs Systematic Errors
Macaulay's MethodTender in Construction
Critical Path MethodUniformly Varying Load


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Gross Errors FAQs

  • Gross errors are the blunders caused by the improper setting of the instruments and also due to the surveyor’s mistake while taking the observations.

  • The surveyors' experience can identify gross errors with the computational analysis of the reported data. It can only be identified during the computational analysis of the reported data.

  • The main cause of gross errors in the measurement is the surveyor's mistake while taking the measurements, improper setting out the instrument or targeting the different control points, etc.

  • Errors are mainly classified as gross errors, systematic errors and random errors. Random errors are not fixed for a particular measurement if taken again, while systematic errors are constant if the same measurement is taken again.

  • Examples of gross errors are very common, like setting the target or instrument over a wrong control point, reporting a different value in place of a measured value, etc.

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