Mathematical Surfaces for which Specific and Total Contributing Area can be Computed: Testing Contributing Area Algorithms

TitleMathematical Surfaces for which Specific and Total Contributing Area can be Computed: Testing Contributing Area Algorithms
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPeckham, S.  D.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference NameGeomorphometry 2013
Date Published2013
Conference LocationNanjing, China
AbstractIn order to properly evaluate different algorithms for computing the total contributing area (TCA) and specific contributing area (SCA) from DEMs, it is important to have mathematical test surfaces for which these quantities can be computed in closed form. In previous work, the inverted cone and inclined plane have been used for this purpose because they are the only mathematical surfaces for which closed- form results were available. Note that the various algorithms differ most in terms of how well they work on divergent topographic surfaces where streamlines diverge, and several different algorithms based on multiple flow directions have been developed for this case. The purpose of this paper is to show how TCA and SCA can be computed mathematically and to provide several new examples of test surfaces for which results can be given in closed form. These new results are then used to test the mass flux method for computing TCA and SCA from DEMs.
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