Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Earth Surf. Dynam., 2, 1–7, 2014
Earth Surf. Dynam., 2, 1–7, 2014

Short communication 15 Jan 2014

Short communication | 15 Jan 2014

Short Communication: TopoToolbox 2 – MATLAB-based software for topographic analysis and modeling in Earth surface sciences

W. Schwanghart1,2 and D. Scherler3 W. Schwanghart and D. Scherler
  • 1Geohazards, University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24–25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
  • 2Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
  • 3Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, Mailcode 100-23, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Abstract. TopoToolbox is a MATLAB program for the analysis of digital elevation models (DEMs). With the release of version 2, the software adopts an object-oriented programming (OOP) approach to work with gridded DEMs and derived data such as flow directions and stream networks. The introduction of a novel technique to store flow directions as topologically ordered vectors of indices enables calculation of flow-related attributes such as flow accumulation ∼20 times faster than conventional algorithms while at the same time reducing memory overhead to 33% of that required by the previous version. Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) enable visual exploration and interaction with DEMs and derivatives and provide access to tools targeted at fluvial and tectonic geomorphologists. With its new release, TopoToolbox has become a more memory-efficient and faster tool for basic and advanced digital terrain analysis that can be used as a framework for building hydrological and geomorphological models in MATLAB.