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contour

contour or contour line, line on a topographic map connecting points of equal elevation above or below mean sea level. It is thus a kind of isopleth, or line of equal quantity. Contour lines are drawn on maps with a uniform interval of vertical distance separating them (usually 10, 20, 50, or 100 ft on American maps) and thus outline the landform configuration, or relief. They may be visualized as representing shorelines if sea level were raised in small increments. Thus the tops of hills, which would appear as separate islands, are shown as a series of closed circular contours; valleys, which would appear as elongate bays, are shown as contour lines converging toward a point at the head of the valley. Since on steep slopes there is little horizontal distance between points greatly different in height, contour lines indicating such terrain are close together; contour lines of gentle slopes are more widely separated. Maps employing contour lines are called contour, or relief, maps although they are popularly called topographic maps (see topography) in the United States. Certain conventions are employed on these maps to assist the user. Contours indicating land elevations are printed in brown with every fifth contour drawn thicker and labeled with its elevation; those indicating depths of bodies of water are printed in blue. Hachure lines, pointing downslope, are attached to contour lines in order to emphasize a depression with a steep gradient. In the past, contour maps were made from ground surveys. Today they are constructed from stereographic aerial photographs and orbiting satellites, which use radar to measure elevations for land or ocean relief maps. In an analogous way, contour lines are also commonly used to map properties other than elevation; meteorologists, for example, employ contour lines, or isobars, to delineate areas of equal barometric pressures.

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"contour." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"contour." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/contour

"contour." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/contour

contour

con·tour / ˈkänˌtoŏr/ • n. (usu. contours) an outline, esp. one representing or bounding the shape or form of something: she traced the contours of his face with her finger. ∎  an outline of a natural feature such as a hill or valley. ∎  short for contour line. ∎  a line joining points on a diagram at which some property has the same value: the map shows contours of every 10-foot difference in elevation. ∎  a way in which something varies, esp. the pitch of music or the pattern of tones in an utterance. • v. [tr.] 1. (usu. be contoured) mold into a specific shape, typically one designed to fit into something else: the compartment has been contoured with smooth rounded corners | [as adj.] (contoured) the contoured leather seats. 2. mark (a map or diagram) with contour lines: [as adj.] (contoured) a huge contoured map. 3. (of a road or railroad) follow the outline of (a topographical feature), esp. along a contour line: the road contours the hillside.

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"contour." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"contour." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour-0

"contour." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour-0

contour

contour outline. XVII. — F. — It. contorno, f. contornare draw in outline, f. CON- + tornare TURN.

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"contour." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"contour." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour-1

"contour." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour-1

CONTOUR

CONTOUR A NASA mission, launched in 2002, that is scheduled to visit three comet nuclei.

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"CONTOUR." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"CONTOUR." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour

"CONTOUR." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour

contour

contourabjure, adjure, allure, amour, assure, Bahawalpur, boor, Borobudur, Cavour, coiffure, conjure, couture, cure, dastur, de nos jours, doublure, dour, embouchure, endure, ensure, enure, gravure, immature, immure, impure, inure, Jaipur, Koh-i-noor, Kultur, liqueur, lure, manure, mature, moor, Moore, Muir, mure, Nagpur, Namur, obscure, photogravure, plat du jour, Pompadour, procure, pure, rotogravure, Ruhr, Saussure, secure, simon-pure, spoor, Stour, sure, tour, Tours, velour, Yom Kippur, you're •tambour • prefecture • caricature •armature •tamandua, tandoor •Dartmoor • Exmoor • Hawksmoor •paramour • Papua • Jabalpur •Manipur • Jodhpur • Kuala Lumpur •Kolhapur • Karlsruhe • Joshua •cynosure • Fraktur • détour • contour •Paduajaguar, Managua, Nicaragua •vacua • valuer • Langmuir • mantua •arguer • residua •continua, continuer •pedicure • manicure • sinecure •epicure • conure •bordure, ordure •Saumur • nunciature • overture •couverture • coverture • purpure

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"contour." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"contour." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour

"contour." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/contour