A chain survey is a simple land survey that deals with measuring and recording a series of linear distances on the ground by using a chain or a tape measure.

The chain survey is the simplest method of surveying. In this survey, only measurements are taken in the field, and the rest work, such as plotting calculation, etc. are done in the office.

This is most suitable adapted to small plane areas with very few details. If carefully done, it gives quite accurate results.

The necessary requirements for field work are chain, tape, ranging rod, arrows, and sometimes cross-staff.

5 disadvantages of a simple chain survey

The following are disadvantages of simple chain survey:

  • A simple chain survey can not be conducted in built-up areas and large areas.
  • A simple chain survey is subject to several chances of errors of accumulation which may be caused by the problem of the chain. The chain linkage may fail to stretch up properly and result in inaccurate data. Also clogging of the chain may read to an error in reading.

  • It is time-consuming
  • It may not be conducted in areas with steep slopes or waterlogged areas. chain survey is usually conducted in dry areas with gentle slopes. It becomes more complicated when a survey is conducted in areas that are too wet.
  • Chain survey becomes a more complicated method when there are raised points (obstacles) in between areas to be surveyed.


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