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What are the factors governing Selection of Contour Intervals?

The survey leader has to decide an appropriate contour interval for his project before start of survey work. The following factors govern the selection of contour interval for a project:

S.No Factor Select High CI like 1m, 2m, 5m or more Select Low CI like 0.5m, 0.25m, 0.1m or less
1 Nature of ground If the ground has large variation in levels, for instance, hills and ponds If the terrain is fairly level
2 Scale of the map For small scale maps covering a wide area of varying terrain For large scale maps

showing details of a small area

3 Extent of survey For rough topographical map

meant for initial assessment only

For preparation of detailed map for execution of work
4 Time and resources


If less time and resources are


If more time and resources are available


We at are thankful to Mr Ramasesh Iyer for submitting this useful information to us.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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2 comments on "What are the factors governing Selection of Contour Intervals?"

carlos nyahende says:

i personaly apreciate the notes, they are good

debele negassa says:

it is interesting notes ,continue pls

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