A quadratic approximation in three variables approximates a 3 dimensional function. This approximation involves partial derivatives.

If you are approximating the f, the function taking in a vector at location X0 = (x0, y0, z0) the expanded form is:

Q(X) = f(X0) + fx(X0)(x-x0) + fy(X0)(y-y0) + fz(X0)(z-z0) + fxy(X0)(x-x0)(y-y0) + fxz(X0)(x-x0)(z-z0) + fyz(X0)(y-y0)(z-z0) + fxx(X0)(x-x0)2/2 + fyy(X0)(y-y0)2/2 + fzz(X0)(z-z0)2/2

Swap points out you may want to look at Taylor's theorem for a more general form of approximation.

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