Special Issue "Geomorphometry and Terrain Analysis"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Josef Strobl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Austria
Interests: terrain analysis; visualization of terrain characteristics; multi-resolution DEMs; terrain-constrained processes; surface feature extraction; DEM-DSM accuracy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Liyang Xiong
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Wenyuan Road 1#, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu Province, China
Interests: geomorphometry; landform evolution modeling; machine learning; geomorphology; GIS

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Terrain is considered one of the most important natural geographical features and a key factor in physical processes. Geomorphometry, as the science of digital terrain sensing, quantification, and analysis, provides important toolsets for geomorphology, hydrology, soil science, as well as general geographical information science (GIS). With the progress of elevation data acquisition techniques and terrain analysis methods, surface morphology and its corresponding processes are investigated and interpreted across different scales (from micro to macro) and aspects (such as from surface morphology to formation processes), which significantly contribute to a deeper understanding of Earth surface processes. However, current geomorphometry research is still more focused on morphological metrics and phenomena rather than the mechanisms and processes of terrain morphodynamics. This Special Issue focuses on the ideas of transforming current geomorphometry research from the study of surface morphology to the study of dynamic landform processes. Submissions related to new ideas of terrain modeling, feature extraction and terrain analysis, and their applications in different fields of hydrology and topoclimate, geomorphology, soil science, and radiative processes are also welcome.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Terrain analysis (DTA) and feature extraction from digital elevation models;
  • Landform classification across scales by OBIA or machine learning;
  • Scale effects and accuracy assessment of terrain representation and terrain analysis;
  • Progress of DEM and DTA applications in geomorphodynamics;
  • Landform evolution modeling based on terrain morphogenesis;
  • Application of DTA in different fields of hydrology and topoclimate, soil science, and radiative transfer processes;
  • Coupling of DEM with above- and sub-surface representation and dynamics;
  • UAV-based terrain data acquisition and change analysis.

Prof. Josef Strobl
Prof. Liyang Xiong
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • geomorphometry
  • terrain analysis
  • terrain units
  • geomorphodynamics
  • DEM
  • DSM
  • UAV
  • LiDAR
  • landform evolution modeling
  • Earth surface processes
  • scale and accuracy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
A Study on Prediction Model of Gully Volume Based on Morphological Features in the JINSHA Dry-Hot Valley Region of Southwest China
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(5), 300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10050300 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 291
Abstract
Gully erosion is well-developed in the Jinsha dry-hot valley region, which has caused serious soil losses. Gully volume is regarded as an effective indicator that can reflect the development intensity of gully erosion, and the evolutionary processes of gullies can be predicted based [...] Read more.
Gully erosion is well-developed in the Jinsha dry-hot valley region, which has caused serious soil losses. Gully volume is regarded as an effective indicator that can reflect the development intensity of gully erosion, and the evolutionary processes of gullies can be predicted based on the dynamic variation in gully volume. Establishing an effective prediction model of gully volume is essential to determine gully volume accurately and conveniently. Therefore, in this work, an empirical prediction model of gully volume was constructed and verified based on detailed morphological features acquired by elaborate field investigations and measurements in 134 gullies. The results showed the mean value of gully length, width, depth, cross-section area, volume, and vertical gradient decreased with the weakness of the activity degree of the gully, although the decrease in processes of these parameters had some differences. Moreover, a series of empirical prediction models of gully volume was constructed, and gully length was demonstrated to be a better predictor than other morphological features. Lastly, the effectiveness test showed the model of V = aL^b was the most effective in predicting gully volume among the different models established in this study. Our results provide a useful approach to predict gully volume in dry-hot valley regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphometry and Terrain Analysis)
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Article
Accuracy Comparison on Culvert-Modified Digital Elevation Models of DSMA and BA Methods Using ALS Point Clouds
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(4), 254; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10040254 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 475
Abstract
High-resolution digital elevation models (HR-DEMs) originating from airborne laser scanning (ALS) point clouds must be transformed into Culvert-modified DEMs for hydrological and geomorphological analysis. To produce a culvert-modified DEM, information on the locations of drainage structures (DSs) (e.g., bridges and culverts) is essential. [...] Read more.
High-resolution digital elevation models (HR-DEMs) originating from airborne laser scanning (ALS) point clouds must be transformed into Culvert-modified DEMs for hydrological and geomorphological analysis. To produce a culvert-modified DEM, information on the locations of drainage structures (DSs) (e.g., bridges and culverts) is essential. Nevertheless, DS mapping techniques, whether in connection with the development of new methods or an application setting of existing methods, have always been complicated. Consequently, wide area DS data are rare, making it challenging to produce a culvert-modified DEM in a wide area capacity. Alternatively, the breach algorithm (BA) method is a standard procedure to obtain culvert-modified DEMs in the absence of DS data, solving the problem to some extent. This paper addresses this shortcoming using a newly developed drainage structure mapping algorithm (DSMA) for obtaining a culvert-modified DEM for an area of 36 km2 in Vermont, USA. Benchmark DS data are used as a standard reference to assess the performance of the DSMA method compared to the BA method. A consistent methodological framework is formulated to obtain a culvert-modified DEM using DS data, mapped using the DSMA and resultant culvert-modified DEM is then compared with BA method respectively. The DSs found from the culvert-modified DEMs were reported as true positive (TP), false positive (FP), and false negative (FN). Based on TP, FP, and FN originating from the culvert-modified DEMs of both methods, the evaluation metrics of the false positive rate (FPR) (i.e., the commission error) and false negative rate (FNR) (i.e., the omission error) were computed. Our evaluation showed that the newly developed DSMA-based DS data resulted in an FPR of 0.05 with federal highway authorities (FHWA) roads and 0.12 with non-FHWA roads. The FNR with FHWA roads was 0.07, and with non-FHWA roads, it was 0.38. The BA method showed an FPR of 0.28 with FHWA roads and 0.62 with non-FHWA roads. Similarly, the FNR for the BA method was 0.32 with FHWA roads and 0.61 with non-FHWA roads. The statistics based on the FPR and FNR showed that the DSMA-based culvert-modified DEM was more accurate compared with the BA method, and the formulated framework for producing culvert-modified DEMs using DSMA-based DS data was robust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphometry and Terrain Analysis)
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Article
DEM Based Study on Shielded Astronomical Solar Radiation and Possible Sunshine Duration under Terrain Influences on Mars by Using Spectral Methods
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(2), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10020056 - 30 Jan 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Solar radiation may be shielded by the terrain relief before reaching the Martian surface, especially over some rugged terrains. Yet, to date, no comprehensive studies on the spatial structure of shielded astronomical solar radiation (SASR) and the possible sunshine duration (PSD) on Mars [...] Read more.
Solar radiation may be shielded by the terrain relief before reaching the Martian surface, especially over some rugged terrains. Yet, to date, no comprehensive studies on the spatial structure of shielded astronomical solar radiation (SASR) and the possible sunshine duration (PSD) on Mars have been conducted by previous researchers. Previous studies generally ignored the influences of the terrain on the SASR and PSD, which resulted in a corresponding unexplored field on SASR. The purpose of this paper is to study the Martian spatial-temporal structure of SASR and the PSD under terrain influences. In this paper, the theory of Earth’s SASR, the previous Martian SASR model and the theory of planetary science were combined to propose the SASR model that can be applied to Mars. Then, with the spectrum method theory of geography, we defined two new concepts of spectrums to explore the spatial-temporal distribution of SASR and PSD in different Martian landforms. We found SASR and PSD on Mars were significantly influenced by terrain relief and latitude and showed sufficient regularity, which can be concluded as a gradual attenuation with terrain relief and a regularity of latitude anisotropy. The latitude anisotropy feature is a manifestation of the terrain shielding effect. With the latitude varying, SASR and PSD at different temporal scale generally showed different features with those of Earth, which may be attributed to the imbalanced seasons caused by Martian moving orbits and velocity. Compared to PSD, SASR showed more regular variation under terrain relief and was more influenced by the terrain relief which revealed that SASR is more sensitive to terrain relief than PSD. Additionally, the critical area is a quantitative index to reflect the stable spatial structure of SASR and PSD in different landforms and may be viewed as the minimum test region of sample areas. The corresponding result of the experiments herein indicated that either spectrum can effectively depict the spatial-temporal distribution of SASR and PSD on Mars under terrain relief and deepen the understanding of the variation of SASR and PSD influences by terrain. The critical area of either spectrum can be employed to explore and determine the stable spatial structure of SASR and PSD in different landforms. The proposed Martian SASR model and the new spectral method theory shed new light on revealing the spatial-temporal structure of SASR and PSD under terrain influences on Mars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphometry and Terrain Analysis)
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Article
Sensitivity Assessment of Spatial Resolution Difference in DEM for Soil Erosion Estimation Based on UAV Observations: An Experiment on Agriculture Terraces in the Middle Hill of Nepal
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(1), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10010028 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
Soil erosion in the agricultural area of a hill slope is a fundamental issue for crop productivity and environmental sustainability. Building terrace is a very popular way to control soil erosion, and accurate assessment of the soil erosion rate is important for sustainable [...] Read more.
Soil erosion in the agricultural area of a hill slope is a fundamental issue for crop productivity and environmental sustainability. Building terrace is a very popular way to control soil erosion, and accurate assessment of the soil erosion rate is important for sustainable agriculture and environmental management. Currently, many soil erosion estimations are mainly based on the freely available medium or coarse resolution digital elevation model (DEM) data that neglect micro topographic modification of the agriculture terraces. The development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology enables the development of high-resolution (centimeter level) DEM to present accurate topographic features. To demonstrate the sensitivity of soil erosion estimates to DEM resolution at this high-resolution level, this study tries to evaluate soil erosion estimation in the Middle Hill agriculture terraces in Nepal based on UAV derived high-resolution (5 × 5 cm) DEM data and make a comparative study for the estimates by using the DEM data aggregated into different spatial resolutions (5 × 5 cm to 10 × 10 m). Firstly, slope gradient, slope length, and topographic factors were calculated at different resolutions. Then, the revised universal soil loss estimation (RUSLE) model was applied to estimate soil erosion rates with the derived LS factor at different resolutions. The results indicated that there was higher change rate in slope gradient, slope length, LS factor, and soil erosion rate when using DEM data with resolution from 5 × 5 cm to 2 × 2 m than using coarser DEM data. A power trend line was effectively used to present the relationship between soil erosion rate and DEM resolution. The findings indicated that soil erosion estimates are highly sensitive to DEM resolution (from 5 × 5 cm to 2 × 2 m), and the changes become relatively stable from 2 × 2 m. The use of DEM data with pixel size larger than 2 × 2 m cannot detect the micro topography. With the insights about the influencing mechanism of DEM resolution on soil erosion estimates, this study provides important suggestions for appropriate DEM data selection that should be investigated first for accurate soil erosion estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphometry and Terrain Analysis)
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