COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF GLOBAL DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS AND ULTRA-PROMINENT MOUNTAIN PEAKS
Keywords: GDEM, SRTM, ETOPO1, GTOPO30, ACE2, GMTED, Topographic Prominence
Abstract. Global Digital Elevation Models (GDEMs) are datasets of vital importance for regional-scale analysis in areas such as geomorphology, [paleo]climatology, oceanography and biodiversity. In this work I present a comparative assessment of the datasets ETOPO1 (1’ resolution), GTOPO30, GLOBE, SRTM30 PLUS, GMTED2010 and ACE2 (30”) against the altitude of the world’s ultra prominent peaks. GDEMs’ elevations show an expected tendency of underestimating the peak’s altitude, but differences reach 3,500 m. None of the GDEMs captures the full range of elevation on Earth and they do not represent well the altitude of the most prominent peaks. Some of these problems could be addressed with the release of NASADEM, but the smoothing effect caused by moving-window resampling can only be tackled by using new techniques, such as scale-adaptative kernels and curvature-based terrain generalisation.