Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 475–489, 2019
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 475–489, 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

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.