In order to know the meaning of the term level curve, we are going to proceed, first, to discover the etymological origin of the two main words that give it shape:
-Curve derives from Latin, exactly from “curvus”, which can be translated as “curved”.
-Level, on the other hand, comes from the Provencal “Latin” and this, in turn, from the Latin “libella”, which is synonymous with “small balance”.
The contour line is the line that, on a map, allows joining those points that have the same altitude.
- Abbreviationfinder: Find definitions of English word – Association and its abbreviations VI.
What is a level curve
The idea of a contour line is used in the field of topography with reference to the line that is formed by those points on the ground that are at the same height. It should be remembered that topography is the discipline focused on the description and delineation of the surface of a terrain.
A contour line, therefore, is the line that joins the points on a map that have the same altitude. These lines are usually drawn in blue to reflect the depths of the ocean and glaciers, and in sienna with shading to mark the height of the terrain.
Geodesy also uses contour lines. This science builds maps from the determination of the magnitude and shape of regions of the globe. The contour lines, in this frame, reflect the representation of a horizontal section of the relief. The difference in altitude between two successive contour lines is constant and is linked to the scale used on the map.
Contour lines are common in topography and geodesy.
To achieve the representation of the contour lines, what is done is to obtain planes parallel to each other through cuts in the surface of the land.
These planes are separated by a certain distance from each other. The contour line is the figure formed by each of these planes that cuts the terrain. When contour lines, colored differently, are projected onto the map, rendering occurs.
Other characteristics of a contour line
In addition to everything indicated, we cannot ignore another series of relevant aspects about the level curve, such as the following:
-It also responds to the name of isohipsa.
-It is important to know that the contour lines neither cross nor intersect.
-In the same way, that the line of maximum slope that exists between two level curves is the one that joins them through what is the shortest distance.
-No less important is to take into consideration what is known as equidistance between contour lines. Under this term is included the distance that comes to exist between what are several imaginary planes that come to cut and that is always the same for a given map.
-In the plans it is necessary to be aware that the lines that are darker are those known as master contour lines.
-There are also auxiliary level curves, which are those found between two consecutive level curves and which are identified as being less equidistance level curves.