Clinometers are used all over the world by foresters, surveyors, engineers, cartographers, geologists, miners, architects and others who need to measure heights, vertical angles and slopes quickly and easily.
How to Use a Clinometer
There are several scales used on clinometers:
Height Measurement with Percent Scale
With the percent scale you can get height measurements when you are standing a known horizontal distance from an object. You will just need a top and bottom measurement of the object and do a few simple calculations:
(% to top) – (% to bottom) = total % height
(total % height) x (horizontal baseline distance) = height of the object
If standing on a slope you can use the same calculation but you will need to make sure you use your true "horizontal distance" to the object (slope distance will be different than horizontal distance).
Using the Secant Scale to Find Horizontal or Slope Distance
If the slope distance is known, the secant scale can be used to find the horizontal distance and vise versa. This can be helpful if you need to measure an object's height on a slope, but you only know the slope distance (the horizontal distance is used with the percent scale to find height, as shown above).
This can also be done the other way around if the horizontal distance is known and the slope distance is needed (known horizontal distance x secant reading = correct slope distance).
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Please Note: The information contained in this publication is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.
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Reference Number: BMHPD48