Mathematical Geology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 83–97 | Cite as

The angle measure technique: A new method for characterizing the complexity of geomorphic lines

  • Robert Andrle


A new method for characterizing the complexity of geomorphic phenomena is presented. This method, termed the angle measure technique, involves measuring the angularity of a digitized line for a wide range of scales. In this manner, the technique is capable of delineating changes in the complexity of geomorphic lines with scale, from which the characteristic scale(s) of the lines can be identified. Unlike fractal analysis, values produced by the angle measure technique correspond to single scales. Therefore, no assumptions are made concerning the relationship between complexity and scale, and the technique can resolve variations in complexity over small ranges of scale. The technique is illustrated using both computer-generated curves and natural lines, including the trace of a river channel, and is compared to fractal analysis on a contour line crossing two lava flows.

Key words

geomorphometry scale fractal river lava flow 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Andrle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography U-148University of ConnecticutStorrs

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