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# Volume Calculations

Michael D. Psencik
San Antonio College
DFTG 2430 Civil Drafting
Volume Calculations
 Units of Measure
 Methods
 Terminology
 Formulas and Calculations
Units of Measure
 English Standard
 Cubic Yards (Yds3)
 Cubic Feet (Ft3)
 27 Ft3 = 1 Yd3
 Metric
 Cubic Meters (m3)
 1m3=35.31Ft3=1.31Yds3
Volume Calculation Methods
 Unit Area or Borrow Pit Method
 Cross Section
 Average End Area
 Prismoidal calculations
 Contour Area Method
Unit Area or Borrow Pit
 Sometimes called Average Depth
 Works well for volumes for building
sites and surface mines
 Needs grid survey for best results
 Not a good choice for roads
 Based on the principle of measuring
material based on adding or removal
from a pit hence, Borrow Pit
Unit Area or Borrow Pit
 Grid Survey
Unit Area or Borrow Pit
 Based on the formula

⎛ A ⎞
V ( yds ) = 3
∑ (hi , j n)⎜ ⎟
⎝ 4 X 27 ⎠
Where hi,j is the height in feet above a datum surface at
row i and column j
n is the number of corners at point i,j, and
A is the area of a grid square in ft2
Average Depth or Borrow Pit
Example
Average Depth or Borrow Pit
Example
⎛ A ⎞
V ( yds ) =
3
∑ (hi , j n)⎜ ⎟
⎝ 4 x 27 ⎠
⎛ 2500 ⎞
V ( yds ) = (8.4 x1 + 9.2 x 2 + 7.9 x1 + 5.6 x 2 + 6.8 x1 + 7.8 x1 + 10.7 x 3 + 8.0 x1)⎜
3

⎝ 4 x 27 ⎠
⎛ 2500 ⎞
= (100.6)⎜ ⎟
⎝ 4 x 27 ⎠
= 2328.70 yds 3
Cross Section
 Based on cross sections (taken at right angles
to CL of roads, etc.) hence name
 Used almost exclusively for computing
volumes on linear construction projects like
highways, railroads and canals
 Can be used for building sites with from/to
contours
 Uses two mathematical approaches
 Average End Area
 Prismoidal Volume
Average End Area
 Assumes that changes in cross section area
are constant
 Accuracy is enhanced by using smaller
distances between cross sections
 Formulae
⎛ A1 + A2 ⎞ L ⎛ A1 + A2 ⎞
V ( yd ) = ⎜
3
⎟ V (m ) = ⎜
3
⎟L
⎝ 2 ⎠ 27 ⎝ 2 ⎠
Where Areas are in ft2 and Length Where Areas are in m2 and
is in ft. Length is in m.
Average End Area - Example
⎛ A1 + A2 ⎞ L
V ( yd ) = ⎜
3

⎝ 2 ⎠ 27

## ⎛ 725 + 544 ⎞ ⎛ 100 ⎞

V =⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎟
⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 27 ⎠
= ( 634.5)( 3.70)
= 2350 yds 3
A1 = 725 ft2 at station 18+00
A2 = 544 ft2 at station 19+00
Prismoidal Calculation
 Based on the volume of a
prismoid
 Definitions
 polyhedron - a solid figure
bounded by plane polygons
or faces

 prismatoid - a polyhedron
whose vertices all lie in one
or the other of two parallel
planes; the faces that lie in
those planes are the bases
of the prismatoid ⎛ A1 + Am + A2 ⎞ ⎛ L ⎞
V ( yds ) = ⎜3
⎟ ⎜ ⎟
 prismoid - a prismatoid
whose bases are polygons
⎝ 6 ⎠ ⎝ 27 ⎠
having the same number of
sides and whose other faces
are trapezoids or
parallelograms Where A1, Am, and A2 are areas in ft2 andL is in ft.
Cross Section-Method Variation
 In general, the prismoidal method will
result in a more accurate and slightly
smaller answer than the average end
area although the answer is so close
that it will not matter except in those
applications requiring extreme accuracy
Contour Volumes
 Contours are required
 Accuracy is based on several factors
 Accuracy of contours
 Accuracy of area measurements
 Scale of map
 Contour interval
 Topology
 Useful for large area volumes and for
calculating volume of water to be impounded
by a reservoir
Contour Volumes
 Based on area
calculations of
boundaries of
contours
 Might be simple
areas/volumes as
here
Contour Volumes
 Or more complex
areas
Area Calculations
 Many of the volume calculations are
based on Area Calculations
 Area by Shapes
 Area by Coordinates
 Area by Double Meridian
 Area by Planimeter
 Area by Computer