I have downloaded a 7.5 min DEM . Now while I am trying to mosaic them it gives me an error saying "Input and target dataset should have the same number of bands" . How can I figure out the number of bands for the input dataset.

The DEM I have downloaded is for Montara Mountain from the following site http://bard.wr.usgs.gov/getDEMSMap.html

I am using ArcGIS 10.0 to generate a elevation data. So basically using Mosaic to new Raster (Input are two DEMs). Then this output is projected and then using the meters conversion I want to get the elevation data. I tried to get the properties in ArcCatlog but cannot view it. And this DEM data cannot be added in ArcGIS .It throws an error invalid raster dataset.Failed to create a raster layer.

  • From a tag you aplied it looks like you may be using ArcGIS but what version and precise procedure is throwing this error? My guess is you just need to look at the dataset Properties to read off the number of bands.
    – PolyGeo
    May 2, 2013 at 2:52
  • You can also get the error if your DEMs have different number of bands
    – Maxwell
    Nov 9, 2018 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


DEMs have 1 band which hold elevation values. For comparison, a color image has three bands (Red, Green, Blue). You can check information about any raster dataset by:

right-clicking on the layer > Layer Properties > Source

Other particularly useful information located here include pixel depth, cell size, coordinate system, and format. Make sure to set the bands to "1" in the Mosaic to New Raster tool.

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