How to Calculate the Area of a Base

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In geometry, the bottom of a three-dimensional object is called a base – if the top of the solid is parallel to the bottom it is also called a base. Since bases occupy a single plane, they have only two dimensions. You can find the area of a base by using the formula for the area of that shape.

Square Bases

Cubes and square pyramids have bases that are square-shaped. The area of a square is equal to the length of one of its sides multiplied by itself, or squared. The formula is A = s2. For example, to find the area of a base of a cube with 5-inch sides: A = 5 inches x 5 inches = 25 square inches

Rectangular Bases

Some rectangular solids and pyramids have rectangular bases. The area of a rectangle is equal to its length, l, multiplied by its width, w: A = l x w. Given a pyramid whose base is 10 inches long and 15 inches wide, find area as follows: A = 10 inches x 15 inches = 150 square inches.

Circular Bases

The bases of cylinders and cones are circular. The area of a circle is equal to the circle's radius, r, squared then multiplied by a constant called pi: A = pi x r2. Pi always has the same value, approximately 3.14. While pi technically has an endless number of decimal places, 3.14 is a good enough estimation for simple calculations. For example, given a cylinder with a radius of 2 inches, you can find the base's area as follows: A = 3.14 x 2 inches x 2 inches = 12.56 square inches.

Triangular Bases

A triangular prism has a triangular base. Finding a triangle's area requires two known quantities: base, labeled b, and height, labeled h. Base is the length of one of the triangle's sides, height is the distance from that side to the opposite corner of the triangle. The area of the triangle is equal to half of the base times the height: A = b x h x 1/2 You could find the area of a triangle with base length of 4 inches and height of 3 inches as follows: A = 4 inches x 3 inches x 1/2 = 6 square inches.

References

About the Author

Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in New York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.

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