American Society of Civil Engineers

Estimating Pit Excavation Volume Using Unequal Intervals

by Daniel W. Chambers, (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Mathematics, Boston Coll., Chestnut Hill, MA 02167)

Journal of Surveying Engineering, Vol. 115, No. 4, November 1989, pp. 390-401, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The current methods of estimating the excavation volume for a rectangular pit use excavation depth measurements at lattice points of a grid formed by marking off each of the x- and y-axes in intervals of equal length. The excavation volume is estimated by using the trapezoidal rule or Simpson’s 1/3 and 3/8 formulas along with these depth measurements to estimate the double integral of the excavation depth function. In this paper, we first derive a generalized Simpson (GS) 3/8 formula to estimate the integral of a function over an interval partitioned into three possibly unequal intervals. We assume the function is approximately a cubic with known ordinates at the four points that partition the interval. We then assume that the excavation depth measurements of the rectangular pit are taken at the lattice points of a grid in which the axes are partitioned into intervals of unequal length and use the GS 3/8 formula with the known GS1/3 formula to derive the excavation volume estimate. A numerical example is included.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Volume measurement
Grid systems