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Petter Pilesjö

Petter Pilesjö

Professor

Petter Pilesjö

A triangular form-based multiple flow algorithm to estimate overland flow distribution and accumulation on a digital elevation model

Author

  • Petter Pilesjö
  • Abdulghani Hasan

Summary, in English

In this study, we present a newly developed method for the estimation of surface flow paths on a digital

elevation model (DEM). The objective is to use a form-based algorithm, analyzing flow over single cells

by dividing them into eight triangular facets and to estimate the surface flow paths on a raster DEM. For

each cell on a gridded DEM, the triangular form-based multiple flow algorithm (TFM) was used to distribute flow to one or more of the eight neighbor cells, which determined the flow paths over the DEM.

Because each of the eight facets covering a cell has a constant slope and aspect, the estimations of – for

example – flow direction and divergence/convergence are more intuitive and less complicated than many

traditional raster-based solutions. Experiments were undertaken by estimating the specific catchment area

(SCA) over a number of mathematical surfaces, as well as on a real-world DEM. Comparisons were made

between the derived SCA by the TFM algorithm with eight other algorithms reported in the literature.

The results show that the TFM algorithm produced the closest outcomes to the theoretical values of the

SCA compared with other algorithms, derived more consistent outcomes, and was less influenced by

surface shapes. The real-world DEM test shows that the TFM was capable of modeling flow distribution

without noticeable ‘artefacts’, and its ability to track flow paths makes it an appropriate platform for

dynamic surface flow simulation.

Department/s

  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies
  • Centre for Geographical Information Systems (GIS Centre)
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration

Publishing year

2014

Language

English

Pages

108-124

Publication/Series

Transactions in GIS

Volume

18

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Topic

  • Human Geography
  • Physical Geography

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1467-9671