MATLAB Function Reference    

Waterfall plot



The waterfall function draws a mesh similar to the meshz function, but it does not generate lines from the columns of the matrices. This produces a "waterfall" effect.

waterfall(Z) creates a waterfall plot using x = 1:size(Z,1) and y = 1:size(Z,1). Z determines the color, so color is proportional to surface height.

waterfall(X,Y,Z) creates a waterfall plot using the values specified in X, Y, and Z. Z also determines the color, so color is proportional to the surface height. If X and Y are vectors, X corresponds to the columns of Z, and Y corresponds to the rows, where length(x) = n, length(y) = m, and [m,n] = size(Z). X and Y are vectors or matrices that define the x and y coordinates of the plot. Z is a matrix that defines the z coordinates of the plot (i.e., height above a plane). If C is omitted, color is proportional to Z.

waterfall(...,C) uses scaled color values to obtain colors from the current colormap. Color scaling is determined by the range of C, which must be the same size as Z. MATLAB performs a linear transformation on C to obtain colors from the current colormap.

h = waterfall(...) returns the handle of the patch graphics object used to draw the plot.


For column-oriented data analysis, use waterfall(Z') or waterfall(X',Y',Z').


Produce a waterfall plot of the peaks function.


The range of X, Y, and Z, or the current setting of the axes Llim, YLim, and ZLim properties, determines the range of the axes (also set by axis). The range of C, or the current setting of the axes Clim property, determines the color scaling (also set by caxis).

The CData property for the patch graphics objects specifies the color at every point along the edge of the patch, which determines the color of the lines.

The waterfall plot looks like a mesh surface; however, it is a patch graphics object. To create a surface plot similar to waterfall, use the meshz function and set the MeshStyle property of the surface to 'Row'. For a discussion of parametric surfaces and related color properties, see surf.

See Also

axes, axis, caxis, meshz, ribbon, surf

Properties for patch graphics objects.

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