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Traditional two-dimensional (2D) Otsu method supposes that the sum of probabilities of diagonal quadrants in 2D histogram is approximately one. This studies experiments and theory prove that the sum of probabilities of off-diagonal quadrants in 2D histogram is not always very small and this could not be neglected. Therefore the assumption mentioned above in 2D Otsu method is inadequately reasonable. In this study, an improved 2D Otsu segmentation method and recursive algorithm are proposed. By calculating probabilities of diagonal quadrants in 2D histogram separately, modified method is acquired. Experimental results show that proposed method can obtain better performance of segmentation than the traditional 2D Otsu method. The computation complexity of improved 2D Otsu method is equal to traditional 2D Otsu method.