An assessment of digital elevation models and their ability to capture geomorphic and hydrologic properties at the catchment scale

Martinez, C., Hancock, G. R., Kalma, J. D., Wells, T. and Boland, L. (2010) An assessment of digital elevation models and their ability to capture geomorphic and hydrologic properties at the catchment scale. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 31 23: 6239-6257. doi:10.1080/01431160903403060


Author Martinez, C.
Hancock, G. R.
Kalma, J. D.
Wells, T.
Boland, L.
Title An assessment of digital elevation models and their ability to capture geomorphic and hydrologic properties at the catchment scale
Journal name International Journal of Remote Sensing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0143-1161
1366-5901
Publication date 2010-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/01431160903403060
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 31
Issue 23
Start page 6239
End page 6257
Total pages 19
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Abstract Digital elevationmodel (DEM) data quality is paramount for accurate representation of the land surface and drainage network. This issue was investigated within a small agricultural catchment in the Upper Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia for a DEM created by use of a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and a 25 m DEM from the New SouthWales Government's land mapping authority, Land and Property Information (LPI). A hierarchical scaling approach was used to investigate the effect of increasing DEM grid size on a number of geomorphic and hydrologic descriptors (i.e. area-slope relationship, cumulative area distribution, hypsometric curve, width function, Strahler stream order and stream network statistics), as well as addressing the issue of source data accuracy. Results of qualitative and quantitative assessments indicate that as DEM grid size increased, average slope gradients decreased and the drainage network became increasingly simplified. Geomorphic descriptors such as the width function, cumulative area distribution and hypsometric curve appear largely insensitive toDEMscale. The area-slope relationship loses definition in the diffusive region of the curve at large grid scales; however, the fluvial region appears largely insensitive to changes inDEM resolution. A comparison of long-term field soil moisture data with wetness indices derived from DEMs clearly demonstrates that high resolution DEM data are needed to model soil moisture distribution. A 5 m DEM was found to have the minimum resolution required for the current study site in order to accurately capture catchment geomorphology and hydrology and to model the spatial.distribution of soilmoisture.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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