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How to show areas of overlap of two contour maps in Surfer 13

I communicated with a user recently who wanted to find the area of overlap of one specific contour line on one contour map with a specific contour line on another contour map. In his case the first contour map was temperature and the second was rainfall. He wanted to find the area where temperature was above one value and rainfall was above another value. Whether this was for agriculture or for some other purpose I’m not sure, but it got me thinking that there could be many applications for a use like this. For example, you may have a contour map of density of one endangered species, and another for a second endangered species, and you’re trying to identify high populations of both in order to create a wildlife refuge. Or maybe you have population of people on one contour map and energy use on another, and you want to find areas with low population but high energy usage so you can send conservationists into that area to notify the population of smart practices. The uses are endless!

So that said, below are the steps to determine the area where two specific contour levels on two different maps intersect. In this case, I’ll be finding the area in Colorado where temperature is greater than 12oC and precipitation is less than 50 hundredths of inches, which may indicate an area that is more prone to wildfires. The data used in this article was obtained from NOAA. January 2015 – November 2015 data was averaged and then gridded in order to produce the attached grids.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Leo
How did u add the legend at the bottom.?
Saturday, 16 September 2017 10:29
Katie Yoder
Hi Leo, Surfer does not support the creation of standard legends for contour maps so the legend at the bottom of this map was cre... Read More
Monday, 18 September 2017 09:49
Guest — Leonard
Ok, thanks Katie. Is it possible to overlay more than two maps, maybe three or four? Trying to produce a groundwater potential ma... Read More
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 06:00
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Mapping the Summer Heat Wave in Surfer

As an avid outdoorsman in Colorado, I am always making sure I know what the current local weather pattern is going to do. Whether I’m going into Rocky Mountain National Park for a day hike, attending an outdoor show at Red Rocks amphitheater, or riding in the weekly Denver Cruiser ride, I have learned over the past 17 years that the weather in my colorful state is always unpredictable! I know I need to consult the forecast to see if I need to wear a rain jacket, pack a sweatshirt, cover myself with sunscreen, or a combination of all 3 before I embark on my journey. However, the past weeks and even few months seem to change this mode of thinking. The weather has been more predictable than past years; it’s going to be hot and dry.

There has been a lot of buzz in the media lately about El Niño and the global heatwave this summer. This piqued my interest; I was curious if Colorado was experiencing the same trend locally compared to previous years’ temperatures. My mapping professional side couldn’t balk at the opportunity to create some maps that compare the summer temperatures over past years in hopes to find some obvious temperature-increasing trends.

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