Detecting Mountain Peaks and Delineating Their Shapes Using Digital Elevation Models, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems Using Autometric Methodological Procedures

Remote Sensing, 2012, 4(3), 784-809

Tomaž Podobnikar

“The detection of peaks (summits) as the upper parts of mountains and the delineation of their shape is commonly confirmed by inspections carried out by mountaineers. In this study the complex task of peak detection and shape delineation is solved by autometric methodological procedures, more precisely, by developing relatively simple but innovative image-processing and spatial-analysis techniques (e.g., developing inventive variables using an annular moving window) in remote sensing and GIS domains. The techniques have been integrated into automated morphometric methodological procedures. The concepts of peaks and their shapes (sharp, blunt, oblong, circular and conical) were parameterized based on topographic and morphologic criteria.

“A geomorphologically high quality DEM was used as a fundamental dataset. The results, detected peaks with delineated shapes, have been integratively enriched with numerous independent datasets (e.g., with triangulated spot heights) and information (e.g., etymological information), and mountaineering criteria have been implemented to improve the judgments. This holistic approach has proved the applicability of both highly standardized and universal parameters for the geomorphologically diverse Kamnik Alps case study area. Possible applications of this research are numerous, e.g., a comprehensive quality control of DEM or significantly improved models for the spatial planning proposes.”