Surface Roughness of Topography: A Multi-Scale Analysis of Landform Elements in Midland Valley, Scotland

C. H. Grohmann1, M. J. Smith2, C. Riccomini3
1 Institute of Geosciences – University of São Paulo – Rua do Lago, 562, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, 05508-080
Telephone: +55 11 3091- 4216
Fax: +55 11 3091-4258
Email: guano@usp.br, carlos.grohmann@gmail.com
2 School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT1 2EE, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 099 2817
Fax: +44 (0) 870 063 3061
Email:michael.smith@kingston.ac.uk
3 Institute of Geosciences – University of São Paulo – Rua do Lago, 562, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, 05508-080
Telephone: +55 11 3091- 4126
Fax: +55 11 3091-4207
Email: riccomin@usp.br

Surface roughness is a key variable used across the earth and planetary sciences (Hobson 1972) to both identify individual landforms and determine the processes acting upon them. In geomorphometry, roughness is described using surface elevation values and can be used to characterise landforms over a variety of different scales. Throughout this article, we use the term surface roughness as an expression of the variability of elevation of a topographic surface at a given scale, where the scale of analysis is determined by the size of the landforms or geomorphic features of interest, either local or regional.

In this paper we briefly review a selection of measures of surface roughness, with specific application to grid based digital elevation models (DEMs). A selection were assessed for the behaviour of roughness at different spatial scales and dataset resolutions using moving-window and raster algebra steps to a test area in the Midland Valley, Scotland.

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