Types of Curvature

Curvature, the second derivative of elevation, is a very useful terrain derivative. It describes how convex or concave a surface is, which helps predict soil moisture (among other things). The basic terrain analysis feature in SAGA calculates plan curvature and profile curvature. Profile curvature goes with the direction of maximum slope, which helps estimate acceleration… Continue reading Types of Curvature

Defining Common Terrain Derivatives

Last month I shared some ways to calculate terrain derivatives in SAGA, focusing on the Basic Terrain Analysis function. Today I'm going to give you a quick overview of what each derivative means and some of its potential uses. Let's start with the most intuitive ones. Slope is how fast elevation is changing. A higher… Continue reading Defining Common Terrain Derivatives