Curvature of Earth

Estimate the curvature of Earth over distances less than 1000 miles


Updated 1 Apr 2016

View License

This is a simple model of Earth Curvature.

% Syntax
C = earthcurve(x,y)
C = earthcurve(x,y,xo,yo)

% Description
C = earthcurve(x,y) gives the curvature of the Earth in meters as a function of distance x,y in meters.

C = earthcurve(x,y,xo,yo) specifies a reference location (xo,yo) for the calculation. If (xo,yo) is not specified, (xo,yo) is taken as the mean values of x and y by default.

% Example
Assuming the Bedford Level Experiment ( was a fluke, The Earth should curve down about 8 inches in the first mile. At mile 2, the Earth should curve down about 32 inches. Converting to metric, there should be a drop of 0.2 m at a distance of 1609.3 m and there at a distance of 3218.7 m the drop should be 0.81 m. For distance set x = [0 1609.3 3218.7] and let y be zeros. Set the reference point (xo,yo) = (0,0).

x = [0 1609.3 3218.7];
y = [0 0 0];
ans =
0 0.20 0.81

Cite As

Chad Greene (2023). Curvature of Earth (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2012b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!
Version Published Release Notes

Fixed an error check.
Fixed automatic function renaming from last update.

Fixed an error check.