Volumes and Areas

The Grids | Calculate | Volume command is used to compute net volumes, cut and fill volumes, planar areas, and surface areas. The computation results are displayed in the grid volume report. The results can be saved as an ASCII text file, in Rich Text Format, or can be pasted into the clipboard.

 

Volume calculations are performed on solids defined by an upper and lower surface. The upper and lower surfaces are defined by a grid file or a plane of constant Z level. When two grid files are specified for the upper and lower surfaces, the grid files must have the same number of rows and columns and the same X and Y limits. The upper surface does not have to be above the lower surface at all points; the upper surface may dip below the lower surfaces in some locations. NoData regions on either the upper or the lower surface are excluded from consideration during the volume calculations.

 

Volume results are provided in cubic units based on the units of the input grid file.

 

Volume Accuracy Example

Volume calculations are generated for each grid cell. In areas where the surface is tilted at the top or bottom of a grid cell, Surfer approximates the volume of the prism at the top or bottom of the grid cell column. For very coarse grids, the prisms can contain a significant volume. Volume calculations become more accurate as the density of the grid is increased because the relative size of the prisms is reduced compared to the size of the associated column. Grids with significant "noise" or with highly irregular surfaces are poor candidates for volume calculations.

 

This grid has a highly irregular surface and is a poor candidate for volume calculations.

 

These two grids are based on the same data but created at different grid densities. The grid on the right is a better candidate for obtaining accurate volume information because it is a much more smooth and dense grid.

 

Calculating Volumes and Areas

Use the Grids | Calculate | Volume command to calculate net volumes, cut and fill volumes, planar areas, and surface areas.

  1. Click the Grids | Calculate | Volume command.

  2. Specify the Upper Surface and Lower Surface parameters.

  1. If the X, Y, and Z units are different, the resulting volume calculations are meaningless. If, for example, your XY values are in meters but your Z values are in feet, the volume results are square meters times feet, rather than cubic units. Z Scale Factor can be used to adjust for this problem. In this example, setting the Z Scale Factor to 0.3048 (number of meters in a foot) results in cubic meters for volume calculations. You will need to know the conversion factor to use this field.

  2. Click OK in the Grid Volume dialog and the results are displayed in a report.

  3. Click File | Save As to save the report, or you can copy the information to the clipboard and paste it into another application.

 

Use the Grids | Calculate | Volume command to calculate net volumes, cut and fill volumes, planar areas, and surface areas.

 

Grid Volume Dialog

Click the Grids | Calculate | Volume command to open the Grid Volume dialog.

 

 

Specify grid volume options in the Grid Volume dialog.

 

Upper Surface and Lower Surface

Specify the upper surface in the Upper Surface section, and specify the lower surface in the Lower Surface section. The surfaces can be grid files or constant planar surfaces.

 

Grid File

The Grid File option is used to specify a grid to use as the upper or lower surface. Specify the source map layer or grid file in the Grid File section. Click the current selection and select a map layer from the list. Only map layers created from grid files are included in the Grid File list. Map layers will be displayed from all open plot documents. Click Browse to load a grid file with the Open Grid dialog.

 

Constant Z

The Constant option is used to specify the level of the planar surface to use as the upper or lower surface. Specify the level of the planar surface by entering the value into the Z = box. The specified value is in Z data units.

 

Z Scale Factor

If the X, Y, and Z units are different, the resulting volume calculations are meaningless. If, for example, your X, Y values are in meters but your Z values are in feet, the volume results are square meters times feet, rather than cubic units. Z Scale Factor can be used to adjust for this problem. In this example, setting the Z Scale Factor to 0.3048 (number of meters in a foot) results in cubic meters for volume calculations. You will need to know the conversion factor to use this field.

 

A grid with X, Y, and Z units in feet, the units for the results are: Net Volume = (feet * feet * feet) or ft3.

 

Polygon Boundary

Calculate the volume inside or outside a specific region by specifying a Polygon Boundary map layer or vector file. Specify the source map layer or vector file in the Polygon Boundary section. Click the current selection and select a base layer from the list. Base layers will be displayed from all open documents. Click Browse to load a vector file with the Open dialog. When the base layer or vector file includes more than one polygon, the volume is calculated inside or outside all of the polygons in the layer or file. The number of polygons and number of vertices in the base layer or vector file is displayed below the Polygon Boundary field.

 

The following vector file types are supported in the Polygon Boundary field:

BLN Golden Software Blanking

GSB Golden Software Boundary

BNA Atlas Boundary

GSI Golden Software Interchange

DDF SDTS TVP

KML Google Earth

DLG USGS Digital Line Graph

MIF MapInfo Interchange Format

DXF AutoCAD Drawing

SHP Esri Shapefile

E00 Esri ArcInfo Export Format

WMF Windows Metafile

EMF Windows Enhanced Metafile

 

 

Volume Inside or Volume Outside

Click Volume Inside to calculate the volume inside of the polygon or polygons in the base layer or vector file. Click Volume Outside to calculate the volume outside of the polygon or polygons in the base layer or vector file.

 

Selected Objects Only

Check the Selected objects only check box to use only the selected objects in the base layer to calculate volumes. The Loaded polygons and vertices values are updated when the Selected objects only box is checked. Select a base layer in the Polygon Boundary field to use the Selected objects only option. The Selected objects only option is not available when the Polygon Boundary is a vector file. A single polygon may be selected without editing the group. However, to select multiple polygons in a base layer, you must first begin editing the group. The polygon or polygons must be selected before clicking the Grids | Calculate | Volume command.

  1. Select the base layer in the Contents window.

  2. Click Features | Group | Start Editing.

  3. Select the desired polygons.

  4. Click Grids | Calculate | Volume.

Once you have calculated the volume, exit edit group mode by clicking Features | Group | Stop Editing.

 

Grid Report

Click OK in the Grid Volume dialog and the results are displayed in the Grid Volume Report. Use File | Save As to save the report, or you can copy the information to the clipboard and paste it into another application.

 

 

See Also

Introduction to Volumes, Areas, Cross Sections

Calculating the Volume of a Lake

Calculating the Volume of a Grid with NoData values

Calculating the Volume between Two Surfaces

Grid Volume Report