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A new triangular multiple flow direction algorithm for computing upslope areas from gridded digital elevation models


Seibert, Jan; McGlynn, Brian L (2007). A new triangular multiple flow direction algorithm for computing upslope areas from gridded digital elevation models. Water Resources Research, 43(4):online.

Abstract

Gridded digital elevation data, often referred to as DEMs, are one of the most widely available forms of environmental data. Topographic analysis of DEMs can take many forms, but in hydrologic and geomorphologic applications it is typically used as a surrogate for the spatial variation of hydrological conditions (topographic indices) and flow routing. Here we report on a new flow routing algorithm and compare it to three common classes of algorithms currently in widespread use. The advantage of the new algorithm is that unrealistic dispersion on planar or concave hillslopes is avoided, whereas multiple flow directions are allowed on convex hillslopes. We suggest that this new triangular multiple flow direction algorithm (MD1) is more appropriate for a range of flow routing and topographic index applications.

Abstract

Gridded digital elevation data, often referred to as DEMs, are one of the most widely available forms of environmental data. Topographic analysis of DEMs can take many forms, but in hydrologic and geomorphologic applications it is typically used as a surrogate for the spatial variation of hydrological conditions (topographic indices) and flow routing. Here we report on a new flow routing algorithm and compare it to three common classes of algorithms currently in widespread use. The advantage of the new algorithm is that unrealistic dispersion on planar or concave hillslopes is avoided, whereas multiple flow directions are allowed on convex hillslopes. We suggest that this new triangular multiple flow direction algorithm (MD1) is more appropriate for a range of flow routing and topographic index applications.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:31 Jan 2013 17:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:26
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0043-1397
Additional Information:An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2007 American Geophysical Union
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1029/2006WR005128

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