A Comparative Study about Vertical Accuracy of Four Freely Available Digital Elevation Models: A Case Study in the Balsas River Watershed, Brazil

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Abstract

Digital elevation models (DEMs) provide important support to research since these data are freely available for almost all areas of the terrestrial surface. Thus, it is important to assess their accuracy for correct applicability regarding the correct use scale. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the vertical accuracy of ALOS PALSAR, GMTED2010, SRTM, and Topodata DEMs according to the Brazilian Cartographic Accuracy Standard through the official high accuracy network data of the Brazilian Geodetic System. This study also seeks to investigate whether the altimetric error is correlated with altitude and slope in the study area. Our results showed that the four assessed DEMs in this study demonstrated satisfactory accuracy to provide mappings in scales up to 1:100,000 because more than 90% of the extracted points presented altimetric errors of less than 25 m when compared with the reference points from the high accuracy network of the Brazilian Geodetic System. Regarding the altimetric error, we could not find a significant correlation with altitude or slope in the study area. In this sense, future DEMs assessments should be based on the investigation of other factors that may influence altimetric error.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • DEM
  • assessment
  • altitude
  • ALOS PALSAR
  • GMTED2010
  • SRTM
  • Topodata

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