Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Mike, a parent:

I have an cylinder shaped oil tank that holds approx. 283 gals of diesel fuel. The tank is laying on on its side, (like taking a garbage can and laying it down on its side). What is the formula to calculate how much oil is in the tank at any given time. If the tank was sitting on end it would be easy to figure out, but it i

Hi Mike. The formula is rather complicated, but it can be done. In fact, I did this up a couple of years ago:

If you want to skip straight to the equation, Penny summarized it nicely here:

You'll need to know the radius, length and fill level .

Stephen La Rocque.

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