Slope Estimation from ICESat/GLAS

Craig Mahoney, Natascha Klhun, Sietse Los, Laura Chasmer, Jorg Hacker, Christopher Hopkinson, Peter North, Jacquiline Rosette, Eva van Gorsel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    We present a novel technique to infer ground slope angle from waveform LiDAR, known as the independent slope method (ISM). The technique is applied to large footprint waveforms (~60 m mean diameter) from the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) to produce a slope dataset of near-global coverage at 0.5° × 0.5° resolution. ISM slope estimates are compared against high resolution airborne LiDAR slope measurements for nine sites across three continents. ISM slope estimates compare better with the aircraft data (R2 = 0.87 and RMSE = 5.16°) than the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model (SRTM DEM) inferred slopes (R2 = 0.71 and RMSE = 8.69°). ISM slope estimates are concurrent with GLAS waveforms and can be used to correct biophysical parameters, such as tree height and biomass. They can also be fused with other DEMs, such as SRTM, to improve slope estimates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10051-10069
    Number of pages19
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Biophysical parameter retrieval
    • LiDAR
    • Slope
    • SRTM
    • Terrain
    • Waveform


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