Estimates of slope and aspect are commonly made from digital elevation models (DEMs), and are subject to the uncertainty present in such models. We show that errors in slope and aspect depend on the spatial structure of DEM errors. We propose a general-purpose model of DEM errors in which a spatially autoregressive random field is added as a disturbance term to elevations. In addition, we propose a general procedure for propagating such errors through GIS operations. In the absence of explicit information on the spatial structure of DEM errors, we demonstrate the potential utility of a worst-case analysis. A series of simulations are used to make general observations about the nature and severity of slope and aspect errors.
|Number of pages
|Published - Jan 1997
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes