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Land Surface Topography

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Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series ((EESS))

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Synonyms

Elevation; Landscape; Relief; Terrain

Definition

Topography of the Land Surface. The three-dimensional arrangement of physical attributes (such as shape, height, and depth) of a land surface in a place or region. Physical features that make up the topography of an area include mountains, valleys, plains, and bodies of water. Human-made features such as roads, railroads, and landfills are also often considered part of a region’s topography (American Heritage Science Dictionary, 2005).

Importance of topographic information

The topography of the land surface is one of the most fundamental geophysical measurements of the Earth, and it is a dominant controlling factor in virtually all physical processes that occur on the land surface. Topography of the land surface also significantly controls processes within the overlying atmosphere, and it reflects the processes within the underlying lithosphere. Consequently, topographic information is important across the full spectrum of earth...

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Correspondence to G. Bryan Bailey .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

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Bailey, G.B. (2014). Land Surface Topography. In: Njoku, E.G. (eds) Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-36699-9_80

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