LIDAR Derived 5m Resolution Bare Earth and First Return Digital Elevation Model of the Paine Run Watershed, Augusta County, Virginia

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1320

By Peter G. Chirico



Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology allows for the collection of very high resolution elevation data from an airborne platform. Post-processing filters and editing of the raw LIDAR data yield an elevation data set where vegetation, buildings, and other man-made features are effectively removed from the terrain model. The data contained in this publication represents both the reflective surface, or “first return”, elevation data which incorporates vegetation canopy and man-made features as well as the “bare earth” elevation data. The final elevation data is represented at 5m postings and has a vertical accuracy of approximately ±15cm.

The USGS collected the LIDAR data for the Paine Run Watershed study for the purpose of landform modeling, surficial geologic process mapping and for terrain representation. LIDAR data represents one method of developing very high resolution elevation models for terrain processing and classification. The process of automated terrain classification involves developing statistical signatures from the DEM for each type of surficial deposit and landform type. The signature will be a measure of several characteristics derived from the elevation data including slope, aspect, planform curvature, and profile curvature. The quality of the DEM is of critical importance when extracting terrain signatures. The highest possible horizontal and vertical accuracy is required.



lidar_be_met.html– FGDC compliant metadata file describing the 5m DEM.

lidar_be_dem.dem– 5m bare earth elevation data stored in USGS DEM format 48MB.

lidar_be.e00– 5m elevation data stored in ArcInfo export format (.e00) 20MB.


lidar_fr_met.html– FGDC compliant metadata file describing the 5m DEM .

lidar_fr_dem.dem– 5m first return elevation data stored in USGS DEM format 20MB.

lidar_fr.e00– 5m elevation data stored in ArcInfo export format (.e00) 48MB.


location_map.pdf - Map showing location of LIDAR data for the Paine Run area Augusta County, Virginia.


Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights.

References to non-USGS products, services and tradenames are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty, express or implied, by the USGS, USDOI, or U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.

Contact Peter G.Chirico

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Last modified: Date 7/13/05
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