QUANTIFICATION AND EXTRACTION OF SURFACE FEATURES FROM DIGITAL TERRAIN MODELS
Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) are important in geology and geomorphology, since elevation data contains a lot of information pertaining to geomorphological processes that influence the topography. The first derivative of topography is attitude; the second is curvature. GIS tools were developed for derivation of strike, dip, curvature and curvature orientation from Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). A method for displaying both strike and dip simultaneously as colour-coded visualization (AVA) was implemented. A plug-in for calculating strike and dip via Least Squares Regression was created first using VB.NET. Further research produced a more computationally efficient solution, convolution filtering, which was implemented as Python scripts. These scripts were also used for calculation of curvature and curvature orientation. The application of these tools was demonstrated by performing morphometric studies on datasets from Earth and Mars. The tools show promise, however more work is needed to explore their full potential and possible uses.