CALCULUS Understanding Its Concepts and Methods

Level curve, Contour plot

A level curve is the intersection of a surface
*z* = *f*(*x*, *y*)
with a horizontal plane
*z* = *k*.
It consists of the set of points
(*x,* *y*)
such that
*f*(*x*, *y*) =* k*.

Surface z =
f(x, y) and plane z =
k |
Level curve |

A contour plot of a surface is a plot of some level curves of that surface.

Contour plot

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Copyright © 2006 Darel Hardy, Fred Richman, Carol Walker, Robert Wisner. All rights reserved. Except upon the express prior permission in writing, from the authors, no part of this work may be reproduced, transcribed, stored electronically, or transmitted in any form by any method.