Difference between Contour Interval and Horizontal Equivalent

The vertical distance or the difference in the elevation between the two contour lines in a topographical map.

Three main differences between contour interval and horizontal equivalent as follows:

Contour Interval Horizontal Equivalent
It is based on vertical levels Represents horizontal distance
No measurement or scaling is required since the contour levels are indicated on the contour lines The distance must be measured on the map and converted to actual distance by multiplying with the scale of the map
In a given map the contour interval is a constant The horizontal equivalent varies with slope. Closer distance indicates steep slope and wider distance gentle slope


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