Terrain Modelling with GIS for Tectonic Geomorphology : Numerical Methods and Applications

Abstract: Analysis of digital elevation models (DEMs) by means of geomorphometry provides means of recognising fractures and characterising the morphotectonics of an area in a quantitative way. The objective of the thesis is to develop numerical methods and a consistent GIS methodology for tectonic geomorphology and apply it to test sites. Based on the study of landforms related to faults, geomorphological characteristics are translated into mathematical and numerical algorithms. The methodology is based on general geomorphometry. In this study, the basic geometric attributes (elevation, slope, aspect and curvatures) are complemented with the automatic extraction of ridge and valley lines and surface specific points. Evan’s univariate and bivariate methodology of general geomorphometry is extended with texture (spatial) analysis methods such as trend, autocorrelation, spectral, wavelet and network analysis. Digital terrain modelling is carried out by means of (1) general geomorphometry, (2) digital drainage network analysis, (3) digital image processing, (4) lineament extraction and analysis, (5) spatial and statistical analysis and (6) DEM specific digital methods such as shaded relief models, digital cross-sections and 3D surface modelling. Geological data of various sources and scales are integrated in a GIS database. Interpretation of multi-source information confirmed the findings of digital morphotectonic investigation. A simple shear model with principal displacement zone in the NE-SW direction can explain most of the morphotectonic features associated with structures identified by geological and digital morphotectonic investigations in the Kali Basin. Comparison of the results of the DTA with the known geology from NW Greece indicated that the major faults correspond to clear lineaments. Thus, DTA of an area in the proposed way forms a useful tool to identify major and minor structures covering large areas. In this thesis, numerical methods for drainage network extraction and aspect analysis have been developed and applied to tectonic geomorphology.