Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 475–489, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-7-475-2019
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 475–489, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-7-475-2019

Research article 29 May 2019

Research article | 29 May 2019

Determining the optimal grid resolution for topographic analysis on an airborne lidar dataset

Taylor Smith et al.

Model code and software

TopoMetricUncertainty - Calculating Topographic Metric Uncertainty and Optimal Grid Resolution Taylor Smith, Aljoscha Rheinwalt, and Bodo Bookhagen https://doi.org/10.5880/fidgeo.2019.017

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Short summary
Representing the surface of the Earth on an equally spaced grid leads to errors and uncertainties in derived slope and aspect. Using synthetic data, we develop a quality metric that can be used to compare the uncertainties in different datasets. We then apply this method to a real-world lidar dataset, and find that 1 m data have larger error bounds than lower-resolution data. The highest data resolution is not always the best choice – it is important to consider the quality of the data.