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Automated extraction of landform elements?

April 16 2010 | 2 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

hello, I have a DTM (laser airborne depth sounder). How would I go about automatic extraction of landform elements (pits, peaks, ridge lines, breaklines, etc) using ArcGIS (ArcMap)? thanks.

Mapping Center Answer:

There is no tool in ArcGIS that does what you're asking for.  In general this is an area of research where the interest far outweighs the success/value of the results to date.  Scale and resolution of the DTM collide with a myriad of landform types that often lack consistent actionable definition. There have been many research papers claiming to have been successful, but when the methods are applied to other study areas, they fall apart. Even simple methods like the FILL tool in the Spatial Analyst extension is hardly foolproof. Circumstances like sinks within sinks or hills within sinks and just how big a sink are methodologically challenging to say the least.

Frankly it would be much faster to digitize (but be in the mode of rapidly sketching) and create polygons that define the extents of the landforms you need.

DEM posted by Anthony Pezzotti on Apr 20 2010 7:45AM
Landform Tool posted by Michael Schwartz on May 7 2010 9:57AM
Check out Benthic Terrain Modeler. It works within ArcMap and can be used to delineate terrestrial landforms.

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