Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Digital elevation models obtained by contour lines and SRTM/Topodata, for digital soil mapping

Marina R. Bilich Neumann1*, Henrique L. Roig2 and André Luiz F. de Souza3  
1Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil. 2Institute of Geosciences, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil. 3National Company of Food Supply, Brasilia, Brazil.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 March 2012
  •  Published: 31 May 2012


In the last decade, the quantitative models for digital mapping of soils have experienced rapid development of new methods, more efficient and economic. One reason is due, mainly, to the increase of auxiliary information of physical environment, especially, the images from remote sensing and terrain attributes derived from digital elevation models. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the quality of digital elevation models obtained by contour lines and from SRTM/Topodata resample to 30 m for digital soil mapping. Both digital elevation models were assessed for vertical quality and the potential to derive terrain attributes which captured the main processes that occurred in the area. To enable comparison, all digital elevation models were generated with a 30 m spatial resolution. The SRTM/Topodata and Digital Elevation Models (DEM) tends to underestimate elevation in peaks and ridges, and at this fine scale, the 1:10,000 cartography contour lines produce a more accurate and more detailed DEM. However, due to the size of Brazil in a lack of soils maps with good scale, the availability and spatial coverage of the SRTM/Topodata make it a desirable option.


Keywords: Digital elevation models, digital soil mapping, geographic information system.