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# CONTOUR

 The imaginary line on the ground, all points of which are at the same elevation above or below a specified datum.

## Related Terms

### MEAN WATER LEVEL LINE

The line formed by the intersection of the land with the water surface at an elevation of mean water level.

### RIDGE

1. On the sea floor, a long, narrow elevation with steep sides. 2. A line or wall of broken ice forced up by pressure. The ridge may be fresh or weathered. 3. In meteorology, an elongated area of relatively high atmospheric pressure, almost always associated with and most clearly identified as an area of maximum anticyclonic curvature of wind flow. The opposite of a ridge is called TROUGH. Sometimes called WEDGE.

### CONTOUR LINE

A line connecting points of equal elevation or equal depth. One connecting points of equal depth is usually called a depth contour, but if depth is expressed in fathoms, it may be called a fathom curve or fathom line.

Any horizontal wind velocity tangent to the contour line of a constant pressure surface (or to the isobar of a geopotential surface) at the point in question. At such points where the wind is gradient, the Coriolis force and the centrifugal force together exactly balance the horizontal pressure force.

### HIGH WATER LINE

1. The intersection of the land with the water surface at an elevation of high water. 2. The line along the shore to which the waters normally reach at high water

### DOUBLE-THEODOLITE OBSERVATION

A technique for making winds-aloft observations in which two theodolites located at either end of a base line follow the ascent of a pilot balloon; synchronous measurements of the elevation and azimuth angles of the balloon, taken at periodic intervals, permit computation of the wind vector as a function of height.

### COASTAL BOUNDARY

A general term for the boundary defined as the line (or measured from the line or points thereon) used to depict the intersection of the ocean surface and the land at an elevation of a particular datum, excluding one established by treaty or by the U.S. Congress.

### DIFFERENTIAL LEVELING

A surveying process in which a horizontal line of sight of known elevation is intercepted by a graduated standard, or rod, held vertically on the point being checked.

### HIGH WATER MARK

A line or mark left upon tide flats, beach, or alongshore objects indicating the elevation of the intrusion of high water. It should not be confused with the MEAN HIGH WATER LINE or MEAN HIGHER HIGH WATER LINE

### DIP

1. The vertical angle, at the eye of an observer, between the horizontal and the line of sight to the visible horizon. Altitudes of celestial bodies measured from the visible sea horizon as a reference are too great by the amount of dip. Since dip arises from and varies with the elevation of the eye of the observer above the surface of the earth, the correction for dip is sometimes called HEIGHT OF EYE CORRECTION. Dip is smaller than GEOMETRICAL DIP by the amount of terrestrial refraction. Also called DIP OF THE HORIZON. 2. The angl

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