Simple approach to the generation of Digital Elevation Models based on isobaths

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Dijkstra, S. J. and Schenke, H. W. (1999): Simple approach to the generation of Digital Elevation Models based on isobaths , in: Proceedings International Symposium on Marine Positioning INSMAP98, 30 Nov - 04 Dec 1998, Melbourne,FL, USA .
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At the Alfred Wegener Institute, we perceive a strong need for thecreation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for morphogeneticinterpretation and numerical models dependent on bottom topography(e.g. current and tide models), as well as planning future scientific work.A serious problem that we encounter is the lack of complete bathymetricdata in these regions. Much of the available bathymetry is available inform of isobaths, either in analog (chart) or in digital form (e.g. GEBCO).Thus, we had a need for a methodology of creating DEMs based on theseisobaths.The basic demands that are posed on a DEM created from isobaths are:a) the isobaths themselves must be reproducible from the DEM,b) the morphologic data content in the isobaths must be fully used, and;c) no artefacts should be introduced.The first criterion can easily be tested. The second criterion, however,must be tested with the help of data showing similar morphologicalcharacteristics as the area be modeled. The third criterion is perhaps themost difficult to test, as it must be defined what constitutes an artefactin the context.It has been our experience that most of the existing DEM creationalgorithms do not yield satisfactory results, or require too much humaninteraction, with the data available to us. We, therefore, developed asimple approach that yields good results in the areas of our interest.In this paper we give a description of the methodology, and presentsome of the results obtained using this approach.

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