Development of a New D16 Algorithm for Single Flow Direction Model

  • Wan Muhd Hairi Wan Ab KarimEmail author
  • Mohamad Ghazali Hashim
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Currently, D8 algorithm is widely used on raster-based dataset to illustrate the correlation and relationship between a particular pixel with its neighbouring pixels in water flow direction model. Unfortunately, D8 algorithm has some limitations, for instance, it is not being suitable to model flow divergence in ridge area, sub-catchment identification, among others. Several applications on drainage network, agricultural and some construction planning need accurate information of flow direction. Thus, this study tries to develop a new algorithm, which has the capability to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of the current D8 algorithm on surface Single Flow Direction (SFD) modelling. The proposed algorithm is called D16 algorithm. This D16 algorithm, not only adds eight new flow direction options, but also introduces some rules and equations to overcome the limitations of the current SFD as well as the D8 algorithm. This paper highlights the process of deriving the D16 model, logical structures, equations, comparison results between D8 and D16 algorithm on topographic map, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and Advance Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) data.


D8 algorithm Raster-based dataset Water flow direction Single flow direction model New D16 algorithm 


  1. Bernard P, Dee T, Richard H, and Paul B (2010) Geology and the Environment, Cengage Learning. Inc., p 18. ISBN-10:0-538-73755-70Google Scholar
  2. Boonklong O, Jaroensutasinee M, Jaroensutasinee K (2007) Computation of D8 flow line at Ron Phibun area, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. World Acad Sci Eng Technol 33:2007Google Scholar
  3. Fairfield J, Leymarie P (1991) Drainage networks from grid digital elevation models. Water Resour Res 27(5):709–717Google Scholar
  4. Hengxing LAN, Martin CD, Froese CR, Chao D, & Chowdhury (2008) S. A Web-Based GIS Tool for Managing Urban Geological Hazard DataGoogle Scholar
  5. Hodgson ME, Bresnahan P (2004) Accuracy of Airborne Lidar-Derived elevation: empirical assessment and error budget, Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 70(3):331–339 Google Scholar
  6. Laura (2001) Terraflow background. Duke University (Computer Science), DurhamGoogle Scholar
  7. Lindsay J (2012) Rho8 flow pointer (direction), whitebox geospatial analysis tools. University of Guelph, GuelphGoogle Scholar
  8. Miller B (2010) Comparison of surface hydrologic algorithms in GIS. Michigan State University, USAGoogle Scholar
  9. Moore ID, Grayson RB, Ladson AR (1991) Digital terrain modeling: a review of hydrological, geomorphological and biological applications. Hydrol Process 5:3–30Google Scholar
  10. NCGIA (1988–2013) Interpolation: inverse distance weighting. The Regents of the University of California, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  11. O’Callaghan JF, Mark DM (1984) The extraction of drainage networks from digital elevation data. Comput Vision Graph Image Process 28:328–344Google Scholar
  12. Rivix LLC (2008) RiverTools 3.0 User's Guide. Rivix Limited Liability Company, Broomfield, COGoogle Scholar
  13. Schuckman K, Renslow M (2009) Lidar technology and applications. The Pennsylvania State University, USAGoogle Scholar
  14. Smith MJD, Goodchild MF, Longley PA (2009) Geospatial analysis—a comprehensive guide to principles, techniques and software Tools. Matador, The Winchelsea Press, Winchelsea, UK, p 560Google Scholar
  15. Tarboton DG (1997) A new method for the determination ff flow directions and upslope areas in grid digital elevation models. Water Resour Res Am Geophys Union 33(2):309–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tobler WR (1970) A computer movie simulating urban growth in the Detroit region. Econ Geogr 46(2):234–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wikipedia (2010) Ruby, Ruby (programming language)Google Scholar
  18. Wilson JP (2002) Terrain analysis tools for routing flow and calculating upslope contributing areas. In: Terrain analysis for water resources applications symposium 2002Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wan Muhd Hairi Wan Ab Karim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamad Ghazali Hashim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geoinformation, Faculty of Geoinformation and Real EstateUniversiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)Johor BahruMalaysia

Personalised recommendations