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Hello all,

Please, can someone give me a  clue on how to carry out verticality check on a tank farm using a total station and also how to analyze the data to be able to present it to a client. 

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  • Party Chief


  • Land Surveyor

    Hi.Just set up total station in front of tank about equal distance to the height of tank.See through objective glass the top edge of tank structure and lower the telescope to the foot,if line of sight goes away from structure measure putting a steel foot or tape and find the deviation from plumb.If line of sight goes towards the structure then sight the edge at the bottom and take it to the top and move the line to the edge at top then bring line of sight again downward and measure.This will show the difference from plumb.Thanks


  • Land Surveyor

    The basic thing to do would be to Set control stations around the Tank then use reflector less EDM mode to measure the RL at the bottom of the tank and directly on the same horizontal angel measure one at the top of the tank. You don't need a software but just the difference in the heights should give you the verticality that you need.

    Hope this helps. 

    • Land Surveyor

      thanks for your reply

    • Land Surveyor

      thanks for your reply

    • If you want to show the data to your client, would be better to use some SW, for example RHINOCEROS (I used it on the oil platform for analyze the same kind of data), CATIA, SOLID WORK and others. With those SW you may analyze the 3D data and prepare a report. About the survey with a total station I agree with Tom Ameson (you can also measure a lot of vertical sections that you highlighted before on the tank's surface ) and analyze the data with the SW listed above. You can verify the verticality and also the squareness.

  • Seeking Employment

    That is a tough question. You could use a laser scanner instead to scan the tank and check the vertically. The total station would be used to set the control points for the scanner and the spheres. I hope this helps.

  • You can make 4points around the tank and take readings with reflector less and you make the points around tank is your station and then check on autocad 3d or 2nd and check how many difference
    • Land Surveyor

      thanks for your contribution....please i will like to get something clear....are you suggesting i coordinate many points on the tank and plot the coordinates in autocad?

      • Land Surveyor

        The simplest reference for verticality is also the easiest to convey to a client - a plumb bob (in windless conditions).

        Include the plumb bob in your scan and you have the perfect reference for comparison.

        All other "control" methods have at least 2 dependencies vs. this direct one.

        If too windy to protect, then a plumbed range pole. Note:  most range pole bubbles have not been checked in ages. Check and adjust the bubble before trusting it.


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