Hydrostatic Pressure

Relationship between depth and pressure

Hydrostatic pressure in a liquid can determined using the following equation:

p = h ρ g    (1)


p = pressure (N/m2, Pa, lbf/ft2, psf)

h = height of fluid column, or depth in the fluid at which the pressure is measured (m, in)

ρ = density of liquid (kg/m3, slugs/ft3)

g = the gravitational constant (9.81 m/s2, 32.17405 ft/s2)

Hydrostatic pressure in a water column (density 1000 kg/m3) - or depth - is indicated below:

hydrostatic pressure water kPa Pa bar psi meter feet

Example - Pressure acting in water at deep 1 m

The density of water at 4oC is 1000 kg/m3. The pressure acting in water at 1 m can be calculated as

p = h ρ g

   = (1 m) (1000 kg/m3) (9.81 m/s2)

   = 9810 Pa

Example - Pressure acting in water at deep 3 ft

The density of water at 32oF is 1.940 slugs/ft3. The pressure acting in water at 3 ft can be calculated as

p = h ρ g

   = (3 ft) (1.940 slugs/ft3) (32.17405 ft/s2)

   = 187.3 lbf/ft2 (psf)

   = 1.3 lbf/in2 (psi)

Related Topics

  • Fluid Mechanics - The study of fluids - liquids and gases. Involves various properties of the fluid, such as velocity, pressure, density and temperature, as functions of space and time.

Related Documents

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