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A method for combining SRTM DEM and ASTER GDEM2 to improve topography estimation in regions without reference data

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Author(s): Hung T. Pham, Lucy Marshall, Fiona Johnson, Ashish Sharma

Document Type:
Publisher: Remote Sensing of Environment
Published Year: 2018
Volume: 210
Pages: 229 to 241
DOI Identifier: 10.1016/j.rse.2018.03.026
ISBN Identifier:
Keywords: SRTM ASTER LiDAR Digital Elevation Model A linear combination

Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) such as Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Global Digital Elevation Models (ASTER GDEM), or Shuttle Radar Topography Mission DEM (SRTM) are widely used in remote areas and non-industrial countries because of their availability rather than their accuracy. Although a global DEM can be considerably enhanced using additional reference information such as higher resolution DEMs or ground truth points, improving accuracy in areas without reference data remains a challenge. This paper develops an approach to improve the accuracy of the estimated topography by combining two complementary DEMs (ASTER GDEM 1 arc-second and SRTM DEM 1 arc-second) in regions missing reference data. The combination approach is based on formulating relationships between slopes and weights in sites with reference data. Then the developed relationships are applied to sites with similar geomorphology to determine the combination weight for each DEM without using reference data. The results indicate that combined DEMs offer significant improvements of 47% and 20% in mean bias over a mountainous site, and 16% and 58% at a low-relief site when compared with the SRTM and ASTER GDEM products, respectively. DEM-derived drainages were also found to be more accurate for the combined DEMs than the near-global DEMs in areas where reference data is not available.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Pham and others (2018) or (Pham et al., 2018)

References Citation:
Pham, H.T., L. Marshall, F. Johnson, and A. Sharma, 2018, A method for combining SRTM DEM and ASTER GDEM2 to improve topography estimation in regions without reference data: Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 210, pp. 229-241, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2018.03.026.