The use of LIDAR as a data source for digital elevation models: a study of the relationship between the accuracy of digital elevation models and topographical attributes in northern peatlands

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Abstract

It is important to study the factors affecting estimates of wetness since wetness is crucial in climate change studies. The availability of digital elevation models (DEMs) generated with high resolution data is increasing, and their use is expanding. LIDAR earth elevation data have been used to create several DEMs with different resolutions, using various interpolation parameters, in order to compare the models with collected surface data. The aim is to study the accuracy of DEMs in relation to topographical attributes such as slope and drainage area, which are normally used to estimate the wetness in terms of topographic wetness indices. Evaluation points were chosen from the high-resolution LIDAR dataset at a maximum distance of 10 mm from the cell center for each DEM resolution studied, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 30 and 90 m. The interpolation method used was inverse distance weighting method with four search radii: 1, 2, 5 and 10 m. The DEM was evaluated using a quantile-quantile test and the normalized median absolute deviation. The accuracy of the estimated elevation for different slopes was tested using the DEM with 0.5 m resolution. Drainage areas were investigated at three resolutions, with coinciding evaluation points. The ability of the model to generate the drainage area at each resolution was obtained by pairwise comparison of three data subsets.

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  • Geophysics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5497-5522
Number of pages26
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
Volume8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes