This is found most appropriate for detecting structural anisotropy in a surface.
Characterisation tools are evaluated by applying them to uncorrelated surfaces, fractal surfaces and Ordnance Survey DEMs of Lake District, Peak District and Dartmoor.
Morphometric parameters are combined to give a feature classification that may also be applied over a range of scales.
Multi-scale measurements are combined to give a feature membership function that describes how properties change with scale.
Highest incision rates probably occurred during more pluvial periods in the Pleistocene which may have been coincident with glacial marine in the Northern Hemisphere.
Techniques and issues are considered surrounding the characterisation of surface form represented by Digital Elevation Models (DEMs).An assessment is made of the characteristics of error in DEMs by identifying suitable quantitative measures and visualisation processes that may be enabled within a GIS.These are evaluated by contour threading a fractal surface and comparing four different spatial interpolations of the contours.The study demonstrates that the present surface of the Iraqi Western Desert overall forms an incised plateau developed during two phases of continental erosion and deposition during the Tertiary and Quaternary periods.The first phase started after Oligocene uplift formed an older plateau within the Oligocene Tayarat formation.A set of software tools suitable for use in a raster based Geographical Information System (GIS) is developed.Characterisation has three specific objectives, namely to identify spatial pattern, to identify scale dependency in form and to allow visualisation of results.The most effective error characterisations are found to be those that identify high frequency spatial pattern.Visualisation of spatial arrangement of DEM error is used to develop a deterministic error model based on local surface slope and aspect.The drainage of the Western Desert, therefore, is antecedent and controlled by Tertiary and Quaternary tectonics.The rivers appear to have active throughout the Pleistocene incising into the Western Desert plateaux.