Over the past decades, several filters have been developed to derive a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) from a Digital Surface Model (DSM), by means of filtering out aboveground objects such as vegetation. In this filtering process, however, one of the major challenges remains to precisely distinguish sharp terrain features, e.g. ridges, agricultural terraces or other anthropogenic geomorphology such as open-pit mines, riverbanks or road ramps. Hence, loss of elevation data around terrain edges (and consequent smoothing) is very common with existing algorithms. In terraced landscapes, the preservation of precise geomorphology is of key importance in digital terrain analyses, such as hydrologic and erosion modelling, or automatic feature recognition and inventorying. In this work, we propose a new filtering method called TERRA (Terrain Extraction from elevation Rasters through Repetitive Anisotropic filtering). The novelty of the algorithm lies within its usage of terrain aspect to guide the anisotropic filtering direction, therefore maximising the preservation of terrain edges. We derived six DTMs from DSMs using UAV Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry, laser altimetry and satellite sources (grid resolutions ranging from 0.1-1.0 m). The results indicated a close agreement of DTMs filtered using the TERRA algorithm and reference DTMs, while terrace risers were well preserved even under thick canopies of vines and trees. Compared to existing filtering approaches, TERRA performed well in minimising Type I errors (false ground removal), while Type II errors occurred locally where vegetation was covering the terrace edges. Given the promising filtering performance, and supported by the minimal requirements of parameterisation and computation, the TERRA algorithm could be a useful tool in DTM preparation for digital terrain analysis of agricultural terraces and similar hillslopes characterised by a complex mosaic of sharp terrain and non-terrain features.

TERRA: Terrain Extraction from elevation Rasters through Repetitive Anisotropic filtering

Pijl, Anton;Tarolli, Paolo
2020

Abstract

Over the past decades, several filters have been developed to derive a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) from a Digital Surface Model (DSM), by means of filtering out aboveground objects such as vegetation. In this filtering process, however, one of the major challenges remains to precisely distinguish sharp terrain features, e.g. ridges, agricultural terraces or other anthropogenic geomorphology such as open-pit mines, riverbanks or road ramps. Hence, loss of elevation data around terrain edges (and consequent smoothing) is very common with existing algorithms. In terraced landscapes, the preservation of precise geomorphology is of key importance in digital terrain analyses, such as hydrologic and erosion modelling, or automatic feature recognition and inventorying. In this work, we propose a new filtering method called TERRA (Terrain Extraction from elevation Rasters through Repetitive Anisotropic filtering). The novelty of the algorithm lies within its usage of terrain aspect to guide the anisotropic filtering direction, therefore maximising the preservation of terrain edges. We derived six DTMs from DSMs using UAV Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry, laser altimetry and satellite sources (grid resolutions ranging from 0.1-1.0 m). The results indicated a close agreement of DTMs filtered using the TERRA algorithm and reference DTMs, while terrace risers were well preserved even under thick canopies of vines and trees. Compared to existing filtering approaches, TERRA performed well in minimising Type I errors (false ground removal), while Type II errors occurred locally where vegetation was covering the terrace edges. Given the promising filtering performance, and supported by the minimal requirements of parameterisation and computation, the TERRA algorithm could be a useful tool in DTM preparation for digital terrain analysis of agricultural terraces and similar hillslopes characterised by a complex mosaic of sharp terrain and non-terrain features.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3318984
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