Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Are there any open source or inexpensive tools to detect and fill sinks on a DEM? ArcGIS Spatial Analyst is just out of my price range.

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

GRASS has r.fill.dir and better yet, r.terraflow, which is one of the few hydrology tools to work on massive rasters. There's also the Windows-only TauDem, which includes PitRemove for filling.

share|improve this answer
Thanks everyone for your answers. I didn't realize there were so many choices! TauDEM worked great btw. – Robert Claypool Jul 23 '10 at 21:08

SAGA has several fill methods

Flat Detection
Sink Drainage Route Detection
Sink Removal
Fill Sinks (Planchon/Darboux, 2001)
Fill Sinks (Wang & Liu)
Fill Sinks XXL (Wang & Liu)

share|improve this answer

Yeap, there is. I haven't tested yet, but I ran my eyes trough the source code. It seems a good program.


share|improve this answer

Landserf (free to use) - Click to Goto Homepage

I have used it, and love it.

I also think the algorithms are much more accurate in Landserf than in Arc, very very solid maths used and Jo Wood lists the maths used for his analysis.

share|improve this answer

This is actually an area of active research for me. My latest code is available here and is based on a series of algorithms described in this publication.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.