This measure is included in the SI mostly for completeness: in principle, any combination of prefix and unit is permissible, but many are rarely used in practice. One practical use of the decameter is for altitude of geopotential heights in meteorology. Meteorologists also use another seldom encountered SI prefix: hecto- in hectopascal (hPa). The volumetric form (see below) cubic decametre is convenient for describing large volumes of water such as in rivers and lakes.
For surface the square decametre (dam2) is a common unit, albeit by the name are (a). The are is a measurement of area the size of 1 decametre by 1 decametre — the square decametre — 10 metres by 10 metres, equalling 100 square metres (100 m2). The standard metric unit of land registry, the hectare, is thus equivalent to 100 dam2.
For volumes the cubic decametre (dam3) is also used, 10 m by 10 m by 10 m, equalling 1,000 cubic metres (1,000 m3).