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Trigonometry Finding the width of the gorge

daveyc3000

New member
Dec 29, 2018
2
"Greg and Kristine are on opposite ends of a zip line that crosses a gorge. Greg went across the gorge first, and he's now on a ledge that's 15 m above the bottom of the gorge. Kristen is at the top of a cliff that is 72 m above the bottom of the gorge. Jon is on the ground at the bottom of the gorge, below the zip line. He sees Kristen at a 65 degree angle of elevation and Greg at a 35 degree angle of elevation,. What is the width of the gorge to the nearest metre?"

Answer: 55 m.
 

topsquark

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Aug 30, 2012
1,120
Re: need help solving this problem..ims tuck

As Dr, Peterson asked you on FMH: "What have you tried so far?" (Aside from posting the problem on just about any Math forum.)

-Dan
 

Greg

Perseverance
Staff member
Feb 5, 2013
1,382
Re: need help solving this problem..ims tuck

... and if you're stuck doing that try making a diagram if you haven't done so already. :)
 

daveyc3000

New member
Dec 29, 2018
2
Re: need help solving this problem..ims tuck

Nothing but I have found the answer and now understand the problem

Thanks !
 

MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,736
Re: need help solving this problem..ims tuck

Nothing but I have found the answer and now understand the problem

Thanks !
I've given this thread a useful title, and now, let's make the content useful to others by actually showing the work.

We are not told where along the bottom of the gorge Jon is, so let's let his distance from the taller side be \(x\). All measures are in meters.

And then we may state:

\(\displaystyle \tan\left(65^{\circ}\right)=\frac{72}{x}\)

\(\displaystyle \tan\left(35^{\circ}\right)=\frac{15}{w-x}\)

The second equation implies:

\(\displaystyle w=15\cot\left(35^{\circ}\right)+x\)

The first equation implies:

\(\displaystyle x=72\cot\left(65^{\circ}\right)\)

Hence:

\(\displaystyle w=15\cot\left(35^{\circ}\right)+72\cot\left(65^{\circ}\right)\approx54.99637148829162\)