Kenneth M. Cruikshank
Electronic Total Station Resources

Kenneth M. Cruikshank
Electronic Total Station Resources

This page is for disseminating information for using Total Stations in geological field work. It includes instructions for surveying procedures, as well as field sheets and software developed here at Portland State University. The material is designed to support the use of the equipment at PSU.

The National Science Foundation (NSF DUE-96-50263) assisted Portland State University in purchasing a series of six Total Stations for use in undergraduate courses and for graduate research. The equipment purchase was supported by NSF, Department of Geology, Office for Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering. We also wish to acknowledge Sokkia Corporation for a discount on the equipment. Details of the equipment are given below in the link "Available equipment".


Borax Lake Survey

HTML documents


Surveying procedures

PDF Documents

  • Introduction to total stations and basic surveying techniques. A tutorial on how total stations work, and basic procedures for measuring angles and distances.
  • Total Station setup checklist. A checklist of things you should do when setting up an instrument station
  • Form for collecting field data. This form will remind you of the data you need to record

Power Point Presentations (by Sokkia)


Borax Lake Survey

The following software is available for non-commercial purposes. The software is copyrighted material. See our copyright policy. Although we welcome comments and suggestions regarding these programs we do not provide technical support.

Please acknowledge the role of NSF in supporting development of these programs in publications.

General Utilities & Sample workbooks

Software supporting PSU hardware

  • Microsoft Excel Add-In to read and decode Sokkia SDR electronic notebook files. Available for Excel 5.0/95 or for Excel 97Works with both Macintosh & Windows versions of Excel.

External Links

Borax Lake Survey


Borax Lake Survey
Baum, R.L., Johnson, A.M., and Fleming, R.W., 1988, Measurement of slope deformation using quadrilaterals: United States Geological Survey Bulletin 1842-B, 23 p. A useful technique for monitoring hillslopes.
Brinker, R.C., 1969, Elementary surveying (Fifth ed.): New York, International Textbook Company.
Compton, R.R., 1985. Geology in the field: John Wiley & Sons, New York. 398p.
Davis, R.E., and Foote, F.S., 1940. Surveying. Theory and Practice. Third Edition: McGraw-Hill, New York.1032p. An old book, but many of the procedures are still the same today. Compare some of the material with Moffitt & Bouchard.
Lahee, Frederic H., 1941. Field Geology. Fourth Edition: McGraw-Hill, New York.853p. see chapters XIV-XVII, pages 395-558, on Geologic Surveying. Although this is before Total Stations, the methods of surveying are still similar.
Moffitt, F.H., and Bouchard, H., 1992, Surveying. Ninth Edition: New York, New York, Harper Collins, 848 p.
Smith, W.K., and Varnes, D.J., 1987, Least-squares adjustment of triangles and quadrilaterals in which all angles and distances are observed: Surveying and Mapping, v. 47, no. 2, p. 125-142. A methods that uses both triangulation and trilateration to refine measurements on a quadrilateral. See in reference to the methods discussed in Baum, Johnson & Fleming.

Geology Department

Copyright © 1994-2015 · K.M. Cruikshank ·