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Towards a framework for terrain attribute selection in environmental studies

Lecours, V, Devillers, R, Simms, AE, Lucieer, VL ORCID: 0000-0001-7531-5750 and Brown, CJ 2017 , 'Towards a framework for terrain attribute selection in environmental studies' , Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 89 , pp. 19-30 , doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.11.027.

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Abstract

Terrain attributes (e.g. slope, rugosity) derived from digital terrain models are commonly used in environmentalstudies. The increasing availability of GIS tools that generate those attributes can lead users toselect a sub-optimal combination of terrain attributes for their applications. Our objectives were toidentify sets of terrain attributes that best capture terrain properties and to assess how they vary withsurface complexity. 230 tools from 11 software packages were used to derive terrain attributes from ninesurfaces of different topographic complexity levels. Covariation and independence of terrain attributeswere explored using three multivariate statistical methods. Distinct groups of correlated terrain attributeswere identified, and their importance in describing a surface varied with surface complexity.Terrain attributes were highly covarying and sometimes ambiguously defined within software documentation.We found that a combination of six to seven particular terrain attributes always capturesmore than 70% of the topographic structure of surfaces.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lecours, V and Devillers, R and Simms, AE and Lucieer, VL and Brown, CJ
Keywords: Terrain attributes, seafloor mapping, GIS, bathymetry, geomorphometry, surrogacy, terrain analysis, topography
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Modelling and Software
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN: 1364-8152
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.11.027
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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