Corner Definitions for Land Surveyors

corner [USPLS]1A point on the surface of the earth, determined by the surveying process, marking an extremity of a boundary of a subdivision of the public lands, usually at the intersection of two or more surveyed lines; often incorrectly used to denote the physical structure, or monument, erected to mark the corner point. Corners are described in terms of the points they represent. 2 A point on a land boundary, at which two or more boundary lines meet. Not the same as monument, which refers to the physical evidence of the corner’s location on the ground. See also corner, meander [USPLS]; corner, quarter-section [USPLS]; corner, sixteenth-section [USPLS]; corner, section [USPLS]; corner, standard [USPLS]; corner, township [USPLS].

corner, closing [USPLS]—A corner at the intersection of a surveyed line with a previously established boundary line. To compensate for convergence of the meridians, standard parallels (once termed “correction lines”) are established at intervals of 24 miles. These were formerly established at varying intervals up to 60 miles. Corners established at the time the standard parallel is run are termed “standard corners” and govern the surveys to the north. A second set, closing corners, are established at the point where the survey lines from the south intersect the standard parallel. Closing corners are also established at the boundaries of reservations, grants, claims, and other previously surveyed or segregated tracts of land.

corner, double [USPLS]—Normally the two sets of corners along a standard parallel; the standard township, sections, and quarter-section corners placed at regular intervals of measurement; additionally, the dosing corners established on the line at the points of intersection of the guide meridians, range, and section lines of the surveys brought in from the south.

corner, existent [USPLS]—A corner whose position can be identified by verifying the evidence of the monument, or its accessories, by reference to the description that is contained in the field notes, or where the point can be located by an acceptable supplemental survey record, some physical evidence, or testimony. Even though its physical evidence may have entirely disappeared, a corner will not be regarded as lost if its position can be recovered through the testimony of one or more witnesses who have a dependable knowledge of the original location.

corner, found—A term adopted by the U. S. Geological Survey to designate an existent corner of the public-land surveys which has been recovered by field investigation.

corner, government—See corner [USPLS].

corner, indicated—A term adopted by the U. S. Geological Survey to designate a corner of the public-land surveys whose location cannot be verified by the criteria necessary to class it as a found or existent corner, but which is accepted locally as the correct corner and whose location is perpetuated by such marks as fence-line intersections, piles of rock, and stakes or pipes driven into the ground, which have been recovered by field investigation.

corner, lost [USPLS]A previously established survey corner whose position cannot be recovered beyond reasonable doubt, either from traces of the original marks or from acceptable evidence or testimony that bears on the original position, and whose location can be restored only by reference to one or more interdependent corners.

corner, meander [USPLS]A corner established at the intersection of standard township or section lines with the banks of navigable streams or any meandering body of water. In lands bordering on tidewater, the true location for the meander corner is where the surveyed lines intersect the mean high tidemark. See also corner [USPLS].

corner, obliterated [USPLS]—A corner at which there are no remaining traces of the monument or its accessories, but whose location has been perpetuated or may be recovered beyond reasonable doubt, by the acts and testimony of the interested landowners, competent surveyors, other qualified local authorities, witnesses, or by some acceptable record evidence. A position that depends on the use of collateral evidence can be accepted only as duly supported, generally through proper relation of known corners, and by agreement with the field notes regarding distances to natural objects, stream crossings, line trees, and off-line tree blazes, or unquestionable testimony.

corner, quarter-section [USPLS]—A corner at an extremity of a boundary of a quarter section, midpoint between or 40 chains from the controlling section corners, depending on location within the township. See also corner [USPLS].

corner, section [USPLS]—A corner at the extremity of a section boundary. See also corner [USPLS].

corner, sixteenth-section [USPLS]—A corner at an extremity of a boundary of a quarter-quarter section. See also corner.

corner, standard [USPLS]—A corner on a standard parallel or base line. See also corner [USPLS].

corner, theoretical—A term adopted by the U. S. Geological Survey to designate those corners on the map for which no marks are identified on the ground. The locations are determined by adjustment and are indicated on the map only by the intersection of the subdivision lines.

corner, township [USPLS]A corner at the extremity of a township boundary. See also corner [USPLS].

corner, witness [USPLS]—A witness corner, by conventional usage, is a monumented point usually on a line of the survey and near a corner. It is employed in situations where it is impracticable to occupy the site of a corner. When the true point for a corner falls upon an inaccessible place (such as within an un-meandered stream, lake, or pond, or in a marsh, or upon precipitous slope or cliff), where the corner cannot be occupied, a witness corner will be established at some suitable point where the monument may be permanently constructed, but preferably on a line of the survey. Usually only one witness corner will be established in each instance and it will be located upon any one of the surveyed lines leading to a corner, if a secure place within a distance of ten chains is available. If there is no place to be found on a surveyed line within that limiting distance, that can be occupied and marked, a witness corner may be located in any direction within a distance of five chains. If a monument replacement is involved using a witness corner, and a specific distance given is a direct tie—no form of prorating is acceptable.

corner accessories—See accessories to corners [USPLS].

Source: NSPS “Definitions of Surveying and Related Terms“, used with permission.

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