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Earth Surface Processes Terrain Modeling and Geographic Analysis Project
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The project researches the development, the quantitative analysis, and applications of digital elevation models and remotely sensed imagery for the study and mapping of terrain, geomorphology, geology, and earth surface processes.

Research focusing on DEM development methods range from the interpolation of grid-based DEMs from vector topographic data, to the use of digital photogrammetric techniques from stereo aerial photography and satellite based sensors, to light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. Additionally, advanced filtering techniques have been developed to further improve the accuracy and visual quality of raster based DEM data.

Research focusing on the analysis and applications of elevation models centers on quantitative measures of terrain parameters from elevation data. Examples include the use of DEMs to model landslide and slope process hazards and the automated mapping of surface materials and landform morphometry as aids in geologic mapping and resource investigations. An emerging research specialty is elevation model differencing techniques to detect land surface elevation changes over time and assist in developing maps of landscape processes and change.

Project Contact:
Peter G. Chirico
USGS Earth Surface Processes Team
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
National Center, MS 926A
Reston VA, 20192

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