Trying to understand initialization of array C++

  arrays, c++, pointers

I am working with C++ to construct an array, which is then passed into Python (similar to: Embed python / numpy in C++). I am new to C++ and I am confused with some of the details of the code. I’m hoping I can get an understanding of how this code works, because I need to change it. So my question is: what is this method of initializing an array?

const int SIZE{ 10 };
double(*c_arr)[SIZE]{ new double[SIZE][SIZE] };

For the record, I’ve been able to make this a rectangular array by calling:

const int numberRows = 5000;
const int numberColumns = 500;
double(*c_arr)[numberColumns]{ new double[numberRows][numberColumns] };

I fill the array:

// fill the array from a file
std::string line;
int row = 0;
int column = 0;
while (std::getline(dataFile, line)) {
    std::stringstream lineStream(line);
    std::string cell;
    while (std::getline(lineStream, cell, 't')) {
        c_arr[row][column] = std::stod(cell);
    column = 0;
    if (row == numberRows) {

I still don’t understand what is meant by double(*c_arr). Whenever I try to initialize this array differently, I get errors. For example: double *c_arr[numberRows][numberColumns]; raises errors when I try to fill the array c_arr[row][column] = std::stod(cell);. If I change the initialization to be: double c_arr[numberRows][numberColumns];, then I get a segmentation fault when run. What I’d like to eventually achieve is a function that returns a pointer to an array; something like:

double *load_data(int rows, int columns) {
    double(*c_arr)[columns]{ new double[rows][columns] };
    //fill array here
    return (c_arr)

When I construct such a function, I get an error at the second occurrence of the columns variable: expression must have a constant value -- the value of parameter "columns" cannot be used as a constant. I don’t really how to do this, but I’m hoping that if I can understand the array initialization, I’ll be able to properly construct the load_data function.

Source: Windows Questions C++