Using this algorithm in QGIS I can choose between 7 methods, the default one being by Zevenbergen & Thorne 1987. What's the difference between them and can I just use the default one without worrying about it?

1 Answer 1


The default method is the most used for general tasks, but you can choose the best one for your case by reading the related documentation (taken from SAGA-GIS Module Library Documentation (v2.1.3):

(0) Maximum Slope (Travis et al. 1975)

Travis, M.R., Elsner, G.H., Iverson, W.D., Johnson, C.G. (1975): 'VIEWIT: computation of seen areas, slope, and aspect for land-use planning', USDA F.S. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-11/1975, 70p. Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

(1) Maximum Triangle Slope (Tarboton 1997)

Tarboton, D.G. (1997): 'A new method for the determination of flow directions and upslope areas in grid digital elevation models', Water Ressources Research, Vol.33, No.2, p.309-319

(2) Least Squares Fitted Plane (Horn 1981, Costa-Cabral & Burgess 1996)

Horn, B. K. (1981): 'Hill shading and the relectance map', Proceedings of the IEEE, v. 69, no. 1, p. 14-47.

Beasley, D.B., Huggins, L.F. (1982): 'ANSWERS: User's manual', U.S. EPA-905/9-82-001, Chicago, IL. 54pp.

Costa-Cabral, M., Burges, S.J., (1994): 'Digital Elevation Model Networks (DEMON): a model of flow over hillslopes for computation of contributing and dispersal areas', Water Resources Research, v. 30, no. 6, p. 1681-1692.

(3) 6 parameter 2nd order polynom (Evans 1979)

Evans, I.S. (1979): 'An integrated system of terrain analysis and slope mapping', Final report on grant DA-ERO-591-73-G0040. University of Durham, England.

(4) 6 parameter 2nd order polynom (Heerdegen & Beran 1982)

Heerdegen, R.G., Beran, M.A. (1982): 'Quantifying source areas through land surface curvature', Journal of Hydrology, Vol.57

(5) 6 parameter 2nd order polynom (Bauer, Rohdenburg, Bork 1985)

Bauer, J., Rohdenburg, H., Bork, H.-R. (1985): 'Ein Digitales Reliefmodell als Vorraussetzung fuer ein deterministisches Modell der Wasser- und Stoff-Fluesse', Landschaftsgenese und Landschaftsoekologie, H.10, Parameteraufbereitung fuer deterministische Gebiets-Wassermodelle, Grundlagenarbeiten zu Analyse von Agrar-Oekosystemen, (Eds.: Bork, H.-R. / Rohdenburg, H.), p.1-15

(6) 9 parameter 2nd order polynom (Zevenbergen & Thorne 1987)

Zevenbergen, L.W., Thorne, C.R. (1987): 'Quantitative analysis of land surface topography', Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 12: 47-56.

(7) 10 parameter 3rd order polynom (Haralick 1983)

R.M. Haralick (1983): 'Ridge and valley detection on digital images', Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing, Vol.22, No.1, p.28-38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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