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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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ESurf | Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 475–489, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 475–489, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 May 2019

Research article | 29 May 2019

Determining the optimal grid resolution for topographic analysis on an airborne lidar dataset

Taylor Smith et al.
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Cited articles  
Abarbanel, S., Ditkowski, A., and Gustafsson, B.: On error bounds of finite difference approximations to partial differential equations–temporal behavior and rate of convergence, J. Sci. Comput., 15, 79–116, 2000. a, b
Ayalew, L. and Yamagishi, H.: The application of GIS-based logistic regression for landslide susceptibility mapping in the Kakuda-Yahiko Mountains, Central Japan, Geomorphology, 65, 15–31, 2005. a
Baguskas, S. A., Peterson, S. H., Bookhagen, B., and Still, C. J.: Evaluating spatial patterns of drought-induced tree mortality in a coastal California pine forest, Forest Ecol. Manag., 315, 43–53, 2014. a
Band, L. E.: Topographic partition of watersheds with digital elevation models, Water Resour. Res., 22, 15–24, 1986. a
Bolstad, P. V. and Stowe, T.: An evaluation of DEM accuracy: elevation, slope, and aspect, Photogramm. Eng. Rem. S., 60, 7327–7332, 1994. a
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Representing the surface of the Earth on an equally spaced grid leads to errors and uncertainties in derived slope and aspect. Using synthetic data, we develop a quality metric that can be used to compare the uncertainties in different datasets. We then apply this method to a real-world lidar dataset, and find that 1 m data have larger error bounds than lower-resolution data. The highest data resolution is not always the best choice – it is important to consider the quality of the data.
Representing the surface of the Earth on an equally spaced grid leads to errors and...