Extraction of morphotectonic features from DEMs: Development and applications for study areas in Hungary and NW Greece

G. Jordan, B. M.L. Meijninger, D. J.J.van Hinsbergen, J. E. Meulenkamp, P. M.van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Citations (Scopus)


A procedure for the consistent application of digital terrain analysis methods to identify tectonic phenomena from geomorphology is developed and presented through two case studies. Based on the study of landforms related to faults, geomorphological characteristics are translated into mathematical and numerical algorithms. Topographic features represented by digital elevation models of the test areas were extracted, described and interpreted in terms of structural geology and geomorphology. Digital terrain modelling was carried out by means of the combined use of: (1) numerical differential geometry methods, (2) digital drainage network analysis, (3) digital geomorphometry, (4) digital image processing, (5) lineament extraction and analysis, (6) spatial and statistical analysis and (7) digital elevation model-specific digital methods, such as shaded relief models, digital cross-sections and 3D surface modelling. A sequential modelling scheme was developed and implemented to analyse two selected study sites, in Hungary and NW Greece on local and regional scales. Structural information from other sources, such as geological and geophysical maps, remotely sensed images and field observations were analysed with geographic information system techniques. Digital terrain analysis methods applied in the proposed way in this study could extract morphotectonic features from DEMs along known faults and they contributed to the tectonic interpretation of the study areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-182
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2005



  • Digital elevation model
  • Digital terrain modelling
  • Morphometry
  • Structural geology
  • Tectonic geomorphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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