1. n. [Geology]
A line on a map that represents a constant value of the parameter being mapped. This line includes points of equal value and separates points of higher value from points of lower value. Contours are commonly drawn on maps to portray the structural configuration of the Earth's surface or formations in the subsurface. For example, structure maps contain contours of constant elevation with respect to a datum (such as sea level). Contours are also used to interpret subsurface configurations of rock bodies in areas of limited control, such as drawing contours of the thickness of a common rock unit in several widely separated wells to extrapolate its thickness in a nearby undrilled location.
See: closure, contour interval, contour map, f-k plot, isochore, isochron, isopach, post, structure map, topographic map, true stratigraphic thickness, true vertical thickness
2. vt. [Geology]
The act of drawing contours.