Contour Interval (CI)
Definition - What does Contour Interval (CI) mean?
A Contour Interval is the difference in elevation between various contour lines. It is the vertical distance by which various contour lines are separated from each other on a topographic map. The difference is usually represented by each contour line on the map. A mountainous terrain is usually represented by large contour intervals while a flat area is usually represented by small contour intervals.
Petropedia explains Contour Interval (CI)
Contour lines are lines which are drawn on a topographic map to depict any depression or elevation in the geographical contour. The contour interval is the distance by which two or more contour lines are separated from each other. Contour intervals are not related to the scale of the map hence they do not show the distance. Contour lines help geologists in knowing about a topographical region and understanding the topography. Without contour lines, a contour interval has no meaning. These lines and intervals helps in indicating where valleys, ridges and canyons located. A rounded contour indicates spur while a sharp contour points indicate ridges.