DeltaDTM: A global coastal digital terrain model



Coastal elevation data are essential for a wide variety of applications, such as coastal management, flood modelling, and adaptation planning. Low-lying coastal areas (found below 10 m +Mean Sea Level (MSL)) are at risk of future extreme water levels due to Sea Level Rise (SLR), subsidence and changing extreme weather patterns. However, current freely available elevation data sets are not sufficiently accurate to model these risks. We present DeltaDTM, a global coastal Digital Terrain Model (DTM) available in the public domain, with a horizontal spatial resolution of 30 m and a vertical mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.45 m overall. DeltaDTM corrects the CopernicusDEM with space borne lidar from the ICESat-2 and GEDI missions. Specifically, we correct the elevation bias in CopernicusDEM, apply filters to remove non-terrain cells, and fill the gaps using interpolation. Notably, our classification approach produces more accurate results than regression methods (including machine learning) recently used by others to correct DEMs, that achieve an overall MAE of 0.72 m at best. We conclude that DeltaDTM will be a valuable resource for coastal flood impact modelling and other applications.

Bibliographical note

Research on behalf of Deltares/TU Delft.
Date made available30 Oct 2023
PublisherTU Delft - 4TU.ResearchData
Temporal coverage2012 - 2023
Geographical coverageEarth

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