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Hi, I recently started studying land surveying and so I obviously have a lot to learn. I have a question about the correct term for a corner. I work as a rodman on a 2-man crew and one day we recovered a stone monument that was located halfway between the two 1/4 corners. When reviewing the map we had with us, the crew chief circled it and said that we found the "1/4 corner". I said " I think this is a 1/16th corner isn't it?" He then said that it is a 1/4 corner because it was 1/4 of a mile from the section corner. I learned from my PLSS class that corners are named 1/4, 1/16th, etc because it splits the section in to that many aliquot parts.  At the end of the day (when the crew chief wasn't there) I asked the PLS in the office what is the correct term for "this" corner and pointed to it on the map. He said it was a 1/4 corner because it is a 1/4 mile from the section corner. I of course asked what he called those corners that are a half mile from the section corners and he said those are 1/4 corners a as well. This just doesn't seem right to me. In a system that was designed to be simple, unambiguous and efficient why would there be two different types of corners with the same name? So my question to the sage and learned surveyors of this website, what does one refer to this corner as? I'd hate to get to my SIT exam and have the wrong name in my head.

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  • Hi,

    I am very familiar with the terms in the PLSS and your statements on what constitutes a 1/4 corner is correct.....i. e., the corner that is midpoint, in most cases, from the sec. corners, is the 1/4 sec. cor. as it divides the section into quarters.  And you are right, the corner that is at midpoint, in most cases, from the sec. cor. to the 1/4 sec. cor. is the 1/16 sec. cor..

    I am retired from BLM after 31 years and almost 20 in the Headquarters Office in D.C.

    Keith Williams

    • Thank you for the replies. I just got the 2009 BLM Manual so I'll spend more time studying that.

      • Hello Girardeau....try these

  • Hello Girardeau,

    Here is an exhibit showing the mapped (calculated positions by a draftsman) of PLSS monumentation. This does not mean that all corners are monumented. To confIrm what you've found you could research the field notes of the PLSS original surveyors that put the monuments in. Check with your BLM field office. I would suggest that you buy a PLSS Manual, study and attend your local professional surveyors organization. This should get you started. Keep asking questions!

    Regards, Paul

  • Oh, I want to add to this that I also learned it can be a called a quarter-quarter corner, which to me is still clear and unambiguous.

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