Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kim, a student:

A trench 60m long and 15m deep, 12m wide at the top and 8m wide at the bottom. How many cubic meters of earth have been removed?

Hi Kim,

The trench you describe is a trapezoidal prism. The volume of a prism is the area of the cross-section times the length. Your length is 60 m and the cross-section is a trapezoid. The area of a trapezoid is given in an earlier response to Ashley.


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