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Modeling Change of Topographic Spatial Structures with DEM Resolution Using Semi-Variogram Analysis and Filter Bank

Wang, Chunmei, Yang, Qinke, Jupp, David Laurence Barry, Pang, Guowei
ISPRS international journal of geo-information 2016 v.5 no.7
computer software, kriging, landscapes, loess, models, spatial data, topographic maps, topography, China
In this paper, the way topographic spatial information changes with resolution was investigated using semi-variograms and an Independent Structures Model (ISM) to identify the mechanisms involved in changes of topographic parameters as resolution becomes coarser or finer. A typical Loess Hilly area in the Loess Plateau of China was taken as the study area. DEMs with resolutions of 2.5 m and 25 m were derived from topographic maps with map scales of 1:10,000 using ANUDEM software. The ISM, in which the semi-variogram was modeled as the sum of component semi-variograms, was used to model the measured semi-variogram of the elevation surface. Components were modeled using an analytic ISM model and corresponding landscape components identified using Kriging and filter bank analyses. The change in the spatial components as resolution became coarser was investigated by modeling upscaling as a low pass linear filter and applying a general result to obtain an analytic model for the scaling process in terms of semi-variance. This investigation demonstrated how topographic structures could be effectively characterised over varying scales using the ISM model for the semi-variogram. The loss of information in the short range components with resolution is a major driver for the observed change in derived topographic parameters such as slope. This paper has helped to quantify how information is distributed among scale components and how it is lost in natural terrain surfaces as resolution becomes coarser. It is a basis for further applications in the field of geomorphometry.