is an option for contour plots that specifies the contours to draw.


  • The following settings can be given for Contours:
  • ncontours at n equally spaced levels
    Automaticcontours chosen automatically
    {Automatic,n}at most n contours chosen automatically
    {f1,f2,}contours at levels fi
    {{f1,gr1},}contours drawn with graphics directives gri
    funca function to be applied to zmin, zmax to get the list of contours
  • With Automatic settings, "nice" equally spaced contour levels are chosen, whose values minimize the number of digits in their decimal representation.
  • In ContourPlot and ListContourPlot, Contours specifies contour lines.
  • In ContourPlot3D and ListContourPlot3D, Contours specifies contour surfaces.
  • ContourPlot and ContourPlot3D let you give an equation f==g or a list of equations as a way to specify single contours to draw.


Basic Examples  (4)

Automatically select contours:

Select three equally spaced contours:

Specify an explicit set of contours:

Select five contour surfaces in three dimensions:

Wolfram Research (1991), Contours, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2007).


Wolfram Research (1991), Contours, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2007).


Wolfram Language. 1991. "Contours." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. Last Modified 2007.


Wolfram Language. (1991). Contours. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2024_contours, author="Wolfram Research", title="{Contours}", year="2007", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 17-July-2024 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2024_contours, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={Contours}, year={2007}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 17-July-2024 ]}