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Contour line

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A contour line of a function of two variables is a curve along which the function has a constant value, so that the curve joins points of equal value. It is a plane section of the three-dimensional graph of the function parallel to the -plane. More generally, a contour line for a function of two variables is a curve connecting points where the function has the same particular value.

A three-dimensional surface, whose contour graph is below.

Edmond Halley's New and Correct Chart Shewing the Variations of the Compass (1701)

Cross section (geometry)

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In geometry and science, a cross section is the non-empty intersection of a solid body in three-dimensional space with a plane, or the analog in higher-dimensional spaces. Cutting an object into slices creates many parallel cross-sections. The boundary of a cross-section in three-dimensional space that is parallel to two of the axes, that is, parallel to the plane determined by these axes, is sometimes referred to as a contour line; for example, if a plane cuts through mountains of a raised-relief map parallel to the ground, the result is a contour line in two-dimensional space showing points on the surface of the mountains of equal elevation.

Pinus taeda cross-section showing annual rings, Cheraw, South Carolina.