Using satellite remote sensing for DEM extraction in complex mountainous terrain: landscape analysis of the Makalu Barun National Park of eastern Nepal uri icon


  • The design and management of national park s and othe r protectedarea s requires a broa d bas e of physiographic and geo-ecological informationabout th e landscape. Thi s paper evaluates th e eVectiveness of satellite remotesensing for photogrammetric stereo-mapping and digital elevation model (DE M)extraction within remote mountainous terrain. As a cas e study, a landscapeanalysis of th e Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area of eas tNepal(27.5°N, 87.0°E) was examined. The stud y area is a highly complex andrugged mountain landscape, with extreme topographic relie f and an elevationgradient spanning mor e tha n 8300 m. A DE M extracted fro m stere o SPOTimagery resulted in a median disagreement of 58 m whe n compared to a DE Mgenerated fro m a conventionally digitized GI S dataset of topographic contours(scale=1:250 000) . Visual comparison of th e tw o DEMs showed substantial agree-men t at th e landscape scale, whil e larger scal e comparison of 100m contoursrevealed som e localized diVerences. The SPOT extracted DE M provided equalor better basi s for orthorectiÂ? cation of satellite imagery whe n compared to th econventional DEM. Derivative landscape analysis outputs, suc h as hydrologicalmodelling, drainage networks and watershed boundaries, compared well withresults base d upo n th e conventional dataset. Intermediate ma p products usefulfor Â? eld research and mapping included production of an orthorectiÂ? ed satellitebase-map image. Additionally, a fuse d multisensor hig h resolution image of th estud y area , combining Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and SPOT imagery at10 m resolution, was orthorectiÂ? ed to produce a false-colour satellite image ma phighlighting th e spectral discrimination between land cove r cl

publication date

  • 2002