, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 560-569
Date: 18 Nov 2013

Utilization of a comparison of curvatures for land surface segmentation

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Abstract

Utilization of a new geomorphometric variable for land surface segmentation — the angle of absolute curvatures — is a main goal of the paper. The angle of absolute curvatures is defined as the difference between the orientation of maximal curvature (field independent) and the orientation of the greater of the profile or the tangential curvature. Land-forms separated by three types of borders (A, B, C) can be delimited from the field of angles of absolute curvatures. Borders of A type are connected with a local extreme of slope. Borders of B and C type are connected with a change to the priority of either profile or tangential curvature, as shown in computation, respectively. Fields of altitude, slope, profile curvature, tangential curvature and rotor curvature are reflected by an algorithm. Distinct borders in the field of the angles of absolute curvatures are connected with a sudden change of value and with zero isolines in the previously mentioned fields. Spatially closed entities generated by this proposed algorithm are considered to be a variant of the elementary forms of the land surface. The quality of information generated by this algorithm depends on the size of the grid mesh of the input digital elevation model. The algorithm in its current state is suitable for locating the borders of some elementary forms in the first stage of geomorphology mapping.