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Acceleration of Gravity vs. Latitude and Elevation

Acceleration of gravity due to latitude and elevation above sea level.

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Acceleration of gravity at sea level and elevation related to north-south position on earth (degrees latitude):

Acceleration of Gravity vs. Latitude and Elevation (m/s2)

Latitude and acceleration of gravity - meter per second second

Acceleration of Gravity vs. Latitude (ft/s2)

Latitude - acceleration of gravity - feet per second second

Example - Time for Falling Object to Hit the Ground on the Pole or on the Equator

The distance traveled after some time by a free falling object can be expressed as:

s = 1/2 ag t2     


s = distance (m, ft)

ag = acceleration of gravity (m/s2, ft/s2

t = time (s)

The acceleration of gravity is stronger at the poles than at equator and the equation above can be modified to

t = (2 s / ag)1/2    

The time for an object at level 1 m to hit the ground on the pole can be calculated as:

t = (2 (1 m) / (9.832 m/s2))1/2      

  = 0.4510 s

The time for an object at level 1 m to hit the ground on the equator can be calculated as:

t = (2 (1 m) / (9.78 m/s2))1/2      

          = 0.4522 s

Example - The Weight of a Large Man in Canada vs. Venezuela

The acceleration of gravity in Canada at latitude 60 degrees is approximately 9.818 m/s2 and the acceleration of gravity in Venezuela at latitude 5 degrees is approximately 9.782 m/s2.

The weight - or gravity force - of a large man with mass 100 kg in Canada can be calculated as

Fg = (100 kg) (9.818 m/s2)

   = 982 N

The weight the man in Venezuela can be calculated as

Fg = (100 kg) (9.782 m/s2)

   = 978 N

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2009). Acceleration of Gravity vs. Latitude and Elevation. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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