Grade Definitions for Land Surveyors

grade-1 The slope of a surface, such as a lot or road, with a vertical rise or fall expressed as a percentage of the horizontal distance; e.g., a 3 percent upgrade means a rise of 3 feet per 100 feet of horizontal distance. 2 Sometimes used in a sense of “on or at the same level,” e.g., a crossing at street grade; a lot at street grade. 3 The continuous descending bed of a stream channel just steep enough for the current to flow and transport its load of sediment.

grade correction—See correction, slope [TAPING].

grade line—See line, grade.

grade stake—A stake upon which a grade (elevation) has been marked. The top of the stake may be driven to the desired grade, or, more commonly, a horizontal crayon mark with arrow or “crows-foot” is used to mark the grade. If the grade is below reference mark, the distance below is marked C for cut. If the grade is above the stake, the distance up to the grade is marked F for fill. Grade stakes are frequently placed on an offset line, with the amount of offset and its direction from the survey line indicated on the side of the stake.

gradient-1The change in elevation per unit of horizontal distance. 2 An inclined surface expressed as the tangent of the angle of inclination. Also called the slope and percent of slope. For example, a grade of 1 meter per 100 meters is a gradient of 0.01. 3 In photography, the slope of the characteristic curve at any point.

gradient boundary—See line, flowage.

gradienter- An attachment to an engineer’s transit with which an angle of inclination is measured in terms of the tangent of the angle rather than in degrees and minutes. A gradienter may be used as a telemeter in measuring horizontal distances.

grading plan—See plan, grading.

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

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