gives a binary image in which white pixels correspond to the zeros and zero crossings in image.


treats values in image that are smaller in absolute value than delta as zero.


gives a binary sparse array in which 1 corresponds to zeros and zero crossings in array.

Details and Options

  • ContourDetect finds pixels with zero value as well as pixels with positive values that have at least one negative neighbor.
  • For color images, ContourDetect operates on the intensity averaged over all channels.
  • ContourDetect works with 3D as well as 2D images, and also with arrays of rank 1, 2, or 3.
  • ContourDetect[array,delta] effectively chops values smaller in magnitude than delta.
  • ContourDetect takes a CornerNeighbors option. The default setting is CornerNeighbors->True.
  • Using the option setting CornerNeighbors->None, ContourDetect operates on the dual grid whose pixels correspond to the corners in the original image, thereby reducing the dimensions of the resulting image by one pixel.


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Basic Examples  (2)

Zeros and zero crossings of a list:

Find zeros and zero crossings in a real-valued image:

Scope  (3)

Find zeros and zero crossings in a matrix:

Find a thick contour of a blurred object:

Find values below a given threshold:

Options  (1)

CornerNeighbors  (1)

This operates on the dual grid:

Applications  (2)

Find a contour line in an elevation raster:

Find flat regions in an image by detecting the zero contour of its second derivative:

Properties & Relations  (2)

When converting a real-valued image to type "Byte", all negative values will be clipped to zero:

Illustrate the effect of the LoG filter:

Possible Issues  (1)

All data dimensions should be greater than 1 to construct the dual grid using CornerNeighbors->None:

Use CornerNeighborsAutomatic instead:

Wolfram Research (2010), ContourDetect, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Research (2010), ContourDetect, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Language. 2010. "ContourDetect." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. Last Modified 2014.


Wolfram Language. (2010). ContourDetect. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2024_contourdetect, author="Wolfram Research", title="{ContourDetect}", year="2014", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 27-May-2024 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2024_contourdetect, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={ContourDetect}, year={2014}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 27-May-2024 ]}