Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 22, Issue 5–6, pp 561–579 | Cite as

Slicer Laser Altimetry In The Eastern Caribbean

  • P. Jansma
  • G. Mattioli
  • A. Matias


Data acquired by the airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by EchoRecovery (SLICER) laser altimeter provided high-resolution digital topographicdata over Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and several of the Lesser AntillesIslands. The instrument was developed by the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.It has the capability of multibeam resolution of ground elevations beneath densecanopy areas. Data, therefore, can be used to generate a more accurate representation of the ground surface by removing the vegetation cover. Although internal precision is high (10 cm to 1 m), absolute accuracy is difficult to evaluate and depends on several factors, including the post-processed kinematic GPS (KGPS) flight path for the aircraft platform and clear identification of ground returns in the SLICER waveform. We compared topographic profiles from USGS 30 m and 1:250K DEMs for Puerto Rico with those generated by SLICER and with spot elevations derived from static and continuous GPS surveys. SLICER and KGPS surveys cross at six points in western Puerto Rico. Agreement between both elevation data sets is excellent and well fit (r = 0.921) by a linear model with a final residual bias of -0.501 m for SLICER ground returns relative to KGPS elevations. The agreement between SLICER and USGS 30 m DEMs is also very good with the largest errors associated with steep slopes and high vegetation cover. Residuals between KGPS and USGS 30 m DEMs are +1 ± 25 m, assuming a fixed uniform offset of +43.23 m between WGS84 and mean sea level.

Caribbean DEM laser altimetry LIDAR SLICER tropics 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Jansma
    • 1
  • G. Mattioli
    • 2
  • A. Matias
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of Puerto RicoMayagüezUSA

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