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A New Approach to Log Volume Estimation

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Estimation of volume of logs requires measurement on three log parameters, namely diameter, length, and taper of the log. Three well-known formulas for estimating volumes of various log shapes are: Huber’s, Smalian’s, and Newton’s. These formulas are based on products of average cross-sectional areas and the length of the log. Averaging of the cross-sectional area(s) is in a way inclusion of taper rate in these formulas. However, this premise does not always work well for the three common geometric log shapes, namely frustums of neiloids, paraboloids, and cones.

This article proposes a log volume estimation formula that uses the Disk method of integral calculus for estimating volume of solids of different geometrical shapes. The proposed formula takes the taper rate of the logs into consideration while evaluating their volumes. Based on the archival water displacement method, a unique technique, using cutting-edge computer software technology has been used for setting up log benchmark volume. A comparative study between the newly proposed formula and those currently used indicates its user-friendly application and a performance level comparable to Newton’s; but significantly better than the others.

Keywords: Disk method; Water displacement method; integral calculus; taper rate; volume of solids of revolution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Forestry, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272.

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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