Towards better visualisation of alpine Quaternary landform features on high-resolution digital elevation models
ID Novak, Andrej (Author), ID Oštir, Krištof (Author)

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Alpine topography is formed by a complex series of geomorphological processes that result in a vast number of different landforms. The youngest and most diverse landforms are various Quaternary sedimentary bodies, each characterised by its unique landform features. The formation of Quaternary sedimentary bodies and their features derive from the dominant building sedimentary processes. In recent years, studies of Quaternary sedimentary bodies and processes have been greatly aided by the use of digital elevation models (DEMs) derived by airborne laser scanning (ALS). High-resolution DEMs allow detailed mapping of sedimentary bodies, detection of surface changes, and recognition of the building sedimentary processes. DEMs are often displayed as hillshaded reliefs, the most common visualisation technique, which suffers from the limitation of a single illumination source. As a result, features can be barely visible or even invisible to the viewer if they are parallel to the light source or hidden in the shadow. These limitations become challenging when representing landforms and subtle landscape features in a diverse alpine topography. In this study, we focus on eleven visualisations of Quaternary sedimentary bodies and their sedimentary and morphological features on a 0.5 m resolution DEM. We qualitatively compare analytical hillshading with a set of visualisation techniques contained in the Raster Visualisation Toolbox software, primarily hillshading from multiple directions RGB, 8-bit sky view factor and 8-bit slope. The aim is to determine which visualisation technique is best suited for visual recognition of sedimentary bodies and sedimentation processes in complex alpine landscapes. Detailed visual examination of previously documented Pleistocene moraine and lacustrine deposits, Holocene alluvial fans, scree deposits, debris flow and fluvial deposits on the created visualisations revealed several small-scale morphological and sedimentary features that were previously difficult or impossible to detect on analytical hillshading and aerial photographs. Hillshading from multiple directions resulted in a visualisation that could be universally applied across the mountainous and hilly terrains. In contrast, 8-bit sky view factor and 8-bit slope visualisations created better visibility and facilitated interpretation of subtle and small-scale (less than ten metres) sedimentary and morphological features.

Keywords:visualisation techniques, lidar, DEM, Quaternary deposits, alpine environment
Work type:Article (dk_c)
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:NTF - Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering
FGG - Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering
Publication status in journal:Published
Article version:Publisher's version of article
Number of pages:22 str.
Numbering:Vol. 13, iss. 21, art. 4211
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-136223 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:2072-4292
DOI:10.3390/rs13214211 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:82150659 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:20.04.2022
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Remote sensing
Shortened title:Remote sens.
COBISS.SI-ID:32345133 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.
Licensing start date:01.11.2021


Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Funding programme:Young researchers

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project number:P1-0195
Name:Geookolje in geomateriali

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project number:P2-0406
Name:Opazovanje Zemlje in geoinformatika

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project number:J2-9251
Name:M3Sat - Metodologija analize časovnih vrst satelitskih posnetkov različnih senzorjev

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