Hydrostatic pressure

We answer basic questions about hydrostatic pressure, e.g. how it is defined, how it works and what effects this has on the measurement. Of course, we also address applications of hydrostatic pressure measurement.

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure that is generated by gravity, i.e. by weight force, in a non-flowing liquid. The hydrostatic pressure ph is a measurand that results from the density ρ of the medium, the gravitational constant g, and the height h of the liquid column.

Sample calculation:

Density of the liquid (water at 4 °C):             ρ = 1000 kg/m³
Height of the liquid level:                                h = 15 m
Gravitational constant:                                    g = 9.81 m/s²
p(h) = 1000 kg/m³ × 9.81 m/s² × 15 m
p(h) = 1471.5 hPa = 1.47 bar

➔ A meter water column produces a hydrostatic pressure of approx. 0.1 bar.

What is the Hydrostatic Paradox?

The hydrostatic paradox describes the apparent phenomenon that the pressure prevailing at the bottom of a container filled with liquid does not depend on the shape of the container, and therefore does not depend on its capacity. Instead it depends solely on the level height.

What must be considered when mounting the sensor?

The mounting position of the sensor membrane also does not play a role when it comes to hydrostatic measurements. The pressure acts in all directions at any altitude. A pressure transmitter can be mounted on the side of the tank or suspended inside the tank as a level probe. The only decisive factor for the measurement result is the mounting height – the measurement is only performed once the membrane is fully covered.

Fig. 2: Hydrostatic probe JUMO MAERA S25 for level measurement