Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/33316
- A comparison of SRTM and high-resolution digital elevation models and their use in catchment geomorphology and hydrology: Australian examples
Hancock, G. R.;
Evans, K. G.;
Moliere, D. R.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, School of Engineering
- The recently released Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 3-arc second digital elevation data set provides a complete global coverage of the Earth's land surface. In this paper we examine the SRTM data for three catchments in Australia over a range of climates, geology and resultant geomorphology. To test this new data set the SRTM data are compared with high resolution digital elevation models. We use basic hydrological and geomorphological statistics and descriptors such as the area-slope relationship, cumulative area distribution and hypsometric curve, along with Strahler and networking statistics. The above measures describe the surface morphology of a catchment, therefore integrating catchment geology, climate and vegetation. The SRTM data were also assessed as input into the SIBERIA landscape evolution and soil erosion model as were runoff properties, using a wetness index. The results demonstrate that the 90 m SRTM data provide a poor catchment representation. Hillslopes appear as a linked set of facets and display little of the complex curvature that is observed in high resolution data. While catchment area-slope and area-elevation (hypsometry) properties are largely correct, catchment area, relief and shape (as measured by the width function) are poorly captured by the SRTM data. Catchment networking statistics are also variable. The large grid size of the SRTM data also results in incorrect drainage network patterns and different runoff properties. Consequently, care must be used for quantitative assessment of catchment hydrology and geomorphology, as in all cases SRTM-derived catchment area is incorrect and smaller digital elevation grid sizes are required for accurate catchment-wide assessment. While only a limited number of catchments have been examined, we believe our findings are applicable to other areas. © Crown Copyright 2006. Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.
- Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Vol. 31, Issue 11, p. 1394-1412
- Publisher Link
- John Wiley
digital elevation model;
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission;
- Resource Type
- journal article