Comparison and Validation of Satellite-Derived Digital Surface/Elevation Models over India
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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1007/s12524-020-01273-7.
© 2020, Indian Society of Remote Sensing. India presents among the world’s most topographically complex geomorphologies, with land elevations ranging from –2 m to + 8586 m and terrain gradients sometimes exceeding 45°. Here, we present an evaluation of four freely available digital surface models (DSMs) on a model-to-model basis, as well as a validation using independent ground-truth data from levelled benchmarks in India. The DSMs tested comprise SRTM1″, SRTM3″, ASTER1″ and Cartodem1″ [an India-only model]. Along with these four DSMs, the MERIT3″ digital elevation model (DEM) is also tested with the ground-truth data. Our results for India indicate some mismatch of these DEMs/DSMs from their claimed accuracies/precisions. All DSMs/DEMs (except for ASTER) have > 90% of pixels satisfying ± 16 m at the one-sigma level, but only in the low-lying (< 500 m) parts of India, i.e. the Gangetic plains and the Thar desert.
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