Quandaries and Queries


            I hope you can help me,
I was wondering if there is a formula for determining how much sand would be in a pile. I am a student in medical school, and this is a bonus question for a test. I hope you can help me.
                                           Thank you for your time,


Hi Larry,

If you pour sand from from essentially one point like from the end of a conveyer belt then the pile will be roughly conical in shape and the volume of a cone is

volume = 1/3 r2 h

where r is the radius of the base and h is the height of the pile.

If you dump the sand off the back of a truck then the shape of the pile is more complicated. You can look at the answer I gave to a previous question to see one way to approximate the volume.



Go to Math Central