Automated recognition of quasi-planar ignimbrite sheets as paleosurfaces via robust segmentation of digital elevation models: An example from the Central Andes

Balázs Székely, Zsófia Koma, Dávid Karátson, Peter Dorninger, Gerhard Wörner, Melanie Brandmeier, Clemens Nothegger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Quasi-planar morphological surfaces may become dissected or degraded with time, but still retain original features related to their geologic-geomorphic origin. To decipher the information hidden in the relief, recognition of such features is required, possibly in an automated manner. In our study, using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM), an existing algorithm has been adapted to recognize quasi-planar features fulfilling specified criteria. The method has been applied to a study area of the Central Andes with Miocene to Quaternary volcanic edifices, tilted ignimbrite surfaces, and basin-filling sediments. The result is a surface segmentation, whereas non-planar features (gullies, tectonic faults, etc.) are sorted out. The main types of geomorphic features that can be distinguished and interpreted are as follows. (1) The west-dipping western margin of the Altiplano is differentiated into segments of the lower sedimentary cover that of increased erosion by tectonic steepening at intermediate levels, and an upper plane with limited erosion. (2) In the central part of the Western Cordillera, the Oxaya ignimbrite block shows a 'striped' bulging pattern that results from a smoothly changing surface dip. This pattern is due to continuous folding/warping of the ignimbrite block possibly related to gravitational movements. (3) To the west, large, uniform planes correspond to flat, smooth, tectonically undisturbed surfaces of young sedimentary cover of the Central Basin. (4) The evolution of Taapaca volcanoes with sector collapse events and cone-building phases is shown by several segments with overlapping clastic aprons. (5) To the east, on the western margin of the Altiplano, young intermontane basins filled by Upper Miocene sediments show progressively increasing dip toward basin margins, reflected by a circular pattern of the segmentation planes. We show that the segmentation models provide meaningful images and additional information for geomorphometric analysis that can be interpreted in terms of geological and surface evolution models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1386-1399
Number of pages14
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume39
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

paleosurface
ignimbrite
segmentation
digital elevation model
erosion
dip
Miocene
basin
geography
intermontane basin
tectonics
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
event
gully
cordillera
sediment
folding
relief
volcano

Keywords

  • Digital elevation model
  • Dissected surfaces
  • Geomorphometry
  • Paleosurfaces
  • Robust segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Cite this

Automated recognition of quasi-planar ignimbrite sheets as paleosurfaces via robust segmentation of digital elevation models : An example from the Central Andes. / Székely, Balázs; Koma, Zsófia; Karátson, Dávid; Dorninger, Peter; Wörner, Gerhard; Brandmeier, Melanie; Nothegger, Clemens.

In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Vol. 39, No. 10, 2014, p. 1386-1399.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0ffe46cfb3534596b1d6184b6066ed70,
title = "Automated recognition of quasi-planar ignimbrite sheets as paleosurfaces via robust segmentation of digital elevation models: An example from the Central Andes",
abstract = "Quasi-planar morphological surfaces may become dissected or degraded with time, but still retain original features related to their geologic-geomorphic origin. To decipher the information hidden in the relief, recognition of such features is required, possibly in an automated manner. In our study, using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM), an existing algorithm has been adapted to recognize quasi-planar features fulfilling specified criteria. The method has been applied to a study area of the Central Andes with Miocene to Quaternary volcanic edifices, tilted ignimbrite surfaces, and basin-filling sediments. The result is a surface segmentation, whereas non-planar features (gullies, tectonic faults, etc.) are sorted out. The main types of geomorphic features that can be distinguished and interpreted are as follows. (1) The west-dipping western margin of the Altiplano is differentiated into segments of the lower sedimentary cover that of increased erosion by tectonic steepening at intermediate levels, and an upper plane with limited erosion. (2) In the central part of the Western Cordillera, the Oxaya ignimbrite block shows a 'striped' bulging pattern that results from a smoothly changing surface dip. This pattern is due to continuous folding/warping of the ignimbrite block possibly related to gravitational movements. (3) To the west, large, uniform planes correspond to flat, smooth, tectonically undisturbed surfaces of young sedimentary cover of the Central Basin. (4) The evolution of Taapaca volcanoes with sector collapse events and cone-building phases is shown by several segments with overlapping clastic aprons. (5) To the east, on the western margin of the Altiplano, young intermontane basins filled by Upper Miocene sediments show progressively increasing dip toward basin margins, reflected by a circular pattern of the segmentation planes. We show that the segmentation models provide meaningful images and additional information for geomorphometric analysis that can be interpreted in terms of geological and surface evolution models.",
keywords = "Digital elevation model, Dissected surfaces, Geomorphometry, Paleosurfaces, Robust segmentation",
author = "Bal{\'a}zs Sz{\'e}kely and Zs{\'o}fia Koma and D{\'a}vid Kar{\'a}tson and Peter Dorninger and Gerhard W{\"o}rner and Melanie Brandmeier and Clemens Nothegger",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1002/esp.3606",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
pages = "1386--1399",
journal = "Earth Surface Processes and Landforms",
issn = "0197-9337",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Automated recognition of quasi-planar ignimbrite sheets as paleosurfaces via robust segmentation of digital elevation models

T2 - An example from the Central Andes

AU - Székely, Balázs

AU - Koma, Zsófia

AU - Karátson, Dávid

AU - Dorninger, Peter

AU - Wörner, Gerhard

AU - Brandmeier, Melanie

AU - Nothegger, Clemens

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Quasi-planar morphological surfaces may become dissected or degraded with time, but still retain original features related to their geologic-geomorphic origin. To decipher the information hidden in the relief, recognition of such features is required, possibly in an automated manner. In our study, using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM), an existing algorithm has been adapted to recognize quasi-planar features fulfilling specified criteria. The method has been applied to a study area of the Central Andes with Miocene to Quaternary volcanic edifices, tilted ignimbrite surfaces, and basin-filling sediments. The result is a surface segmentation, whereas non-planar features (gullies, tectonic faults, etc.) are sorted out. The main types of geomorphic features that can be distinguished and interpreted are as follows. (1) The west-dipping western margin of the Altiplano is differentiated into segments of the lower sedimentary cover that of increased erosion by tectonic steepening at intermediate levels, and an upper plane with limited erosion. (2) In the central part of the Western Cordillera, the Oxaya ignimbrite block shows a 'striped' bulging pattern that results from a smoothly changing surface dip. This pattern is due to continuous folding/warping of the ignimbrite block possibly related to gravitational movements. (3) To the west, large, uniform planes correspond to flat, smooth, tectonically undisturbed surfaces of young sedimentary cover of the Central Basin. (4) The evolution of Taapaca volcanoes with sector collapse events and cone-building phases is shown by several segments with overlapping clastic aprons. (5) To the east, on the western margin of the Altiplano, young intermontane basins filled by Upper Miocene sediments show progressively increasing dip toward basin margins, reflected by a circular pattern of the segmentation planes. We show that the segmentation models provide meaningful images and additional information for geomorphometric analysis that can be interpreted in terms of geological and surface evolution models.

AB - Quasi-planar morphological surfaces may become dissected or degraded with time, but still retain original features related to their geologic-geomorphic origin. To decipher the information hidden in the relief, recognition of such features is required, possibly in an automated manner. In our study, using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM), an existing algorithm has been adapted to recognize quasi-planar features fulfilling specified criteria. The method has been applied to a study area of the Central Andes with Miocene to Quaternary volcanic edifices, tilted ignimbrite surfaces, and basin-filling sediments. The result is a surface segmentation, whereas non-planar features (gullies, tectonic faults, etc.) are sorted out. The main types of geomorphic features that can be distinguished and interpreted are as follows. (1) The west-dipping western margin of the Altiplano is differentiated into segments of the lower sedimentary cover that of increased erosion by tectonic steepening at intermediate levels, and an upper plane with limited erosion. (2) In the central part of the Western Cordillera, the Oxaya ignimbrite block shows a 'striped' bulging pattern that results from a smoothly changing surface dip. This pattern is due to continuous folding/warping of the ignimbrite block possibly related to gravitational movements. (3) To the west, large, uniform planes correspond to flat, smooth, tectonically undisturbed surfaces of young sedimentary cover of the Central Basin. (4) The evolution of Taapaca volcanoes with sector collapse events and cone-building phases is shown by several segments with overlapping clastic aprons. (5) To the east, on the western margin of the Altiplano, young intermontane basins filled by Upper Miocene sediments show progressively increasing dip toward basin margins, reflected by a circular pattern of the segmentation planes. We show that the segmentation models provide meaningful images and additional information for geomorphometric analysis that can be interpreted in terms of geological and surface evolution models.

KW - Digital elevation model

KW - Dissected surfaces

KW - Geomorphometry

KW - Paleosurfaces

KW - Robust segmentation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84905028508&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84905028508&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/esp.3606

DO - 10.1002/esp.3606

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84905028508

VL - 39

SP - 1386

EP - 1399

JO - Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

JF - Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

SN - 0197-9337

IS - 10

ER -