Quality Assessment of Digital Elevation Models in a Treeless High-Mountainous Landscape
A Case Study from Mount Aragats, Armenia
Global Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are widely employed in geoarchaeology. Usually, their adequacy for particular landscapes is not tested. We assessed 30m-resolution-DEMs (ASTER, SRTM, ALOS, EU-DEM, NASADEM, NEXTMap) with local precision datasets. Our results reveal considerable differences (ASTER unsuitable for the region, NEXTMap and EU-DEM fit most closely to our reference model). This outcome does not necessarily apply to all similar regions. It rather stresses the need for a check of DEMs’ quality in any given study area, and it encourages the use of detailed topographic visualisations of DEMs in absence of suitable reference data.
Keywords: 30m resolution DEMs • Landscape archaeology • Evaluation • GIS • RMSE • Comparison • Spatial analysis