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Spectral filtering as a method of visualising and removing striped artefacts in digital elevation data

Arrell, K., Wise, S., Wood, J. & Donoghue, D. (2008). Spectral filtering as a method of visualising and removing striped artefacts in digital elevation data. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 33(6), pp. 943-961. doi: 10.1002/esp.1597


Spectral filtering was compared with traditional mean spatial filters to assess their ability to identify and remove striped artefacts in digital elevation data. The techniques were applied to two datasets: a 100 m contour derived digital elevation model (DEM) of southern Norway and a 2 m LiDAR DSM of the Lake District, UK. Both datasets contained diagonal data artefacts that were found to propagate into subsequent terrain analysis. Spectral filtering used fast Fourier transformation (FFT) frequency data to identify these data artefacts in both datasets. These were removed from the data by applying a cut filter, prior to the inverse transform. Spectral filtering showed considerable advantages over mean spatial filters, when both the absolute and spatial distribution of elevation changes made were examined. Elevation changes from the spectral filtering were restricted to frequencies removed by the cut filter, were small in magnitude and consequently avoided any global smoothing. Spectral filtering was found to avoid the smoothing of kernel based data editing, and provided a more informative measure of data artefacts present in the FFT frequency domain. Artefacts were found to be heterogeneous through the surfaces, a result of their strong correlations with spatially autocorrelated variables: landcover and landsurface geometry. Spectral filtering performed better on the 100 m DEM, where signal and artefact were clearly distinguishable in the frequency data. Spectrally filtered digital elevation datasets were found to provide a superior and more precise representation of the landsurface and be a more appropriate dataset for any subsequent geomorphological applications.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: digital elevation model, terrain analysis, geographical information science, ERROR-DETECTION, MODELS, ACCURACY, EXTRACTION, VEGETATION, QUALITY, SLOPE, DEMS
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Library & Information Science
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
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