Waterfall plot

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Waterfall plots are often used to show how two-dimensional phenomena change over time.[1] It is a practical implementation of waterfall model. A three-dimensional spectral waterfall plot is a plot in which multiple curves of data, typically spectra, are displayed simultaneously. Typically the curves are staggered both across the screen and vertically, with "nearer" curves masking the ones behind. The result is a series of "mountain" shapes that appear to be side by side. The waterfall plot is often used to show how two-dimensional information changes over time or some other variable such as rotational speed. The term waterfall plot is sometimes used as a synonym of spectrogram or cumulative spectral decay (CSD) plot.

Waterfall plots should not be confused with waterfall charts – 2D floating-column diagram showing increases and decreases.


The upper half of this diagram shows the frequency spectrum of a modern switching power supply which employs spread spectrum. The lower half is a waterfall plot showing the variation of the frequency spectrum over time during the power supply's heating up period.
Spectrogram and 3 styles of waterfall plot of a whistled sequence of 3 notes vs time

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Glen, Stephanie. "Waterfall Plot / Chart: Definition, Types & Examples". statisticshowto.com. Retrieved 13 October 2021.

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