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Supervised classification of landforms in Arctic mountains

Mithan, Huw Thomas, Hales, Tristram Charles and Cleall, Peter John 2019. Supervised classification of landforms in Arctic mountains. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 30 (3) , pp. 131-145. 10.1002/ppp.2015

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Abstract

Erosional and sediment fluxes from Arctic mountains are lower than for temperate mountain ranges due to the influence of permafrost on geomorphic processes. As permafrost extent declines in Arctic mountains, the spatial distribution of geomorphic processes and rates will change. Improved access to high‐quality remotely sensed topographic data in the Arctic provides an opportunity to develop our understanding of the spatial distribution of Arctic geomorphological processes and landforms. Utilizing newly available Arctic digital topography data, we have developed a method for geomorphic mapping using a pixel‐based linear discriminant analysis method that could be applied across Arctic mountains. We trained our classifier using landforms within the Adventdalen catchment in Svalbard and applied it to two adjacent catchments and one in Alaska. Slope gradient, elevation–relief ratio and landscape roughness distinguish landforms to a first order with >80% accuracy. Our simple classification system has a similar overall accuracy when compared across our field sites. The simplicity and robustness of our classification suggest that it is possible to use it to understand the distribution of Arctic mountain landforms using extant digital topography data and without specialized classifications. Our preliminary assessments of the distribution of geomorphic processes within these catchments demonstrate the importance of post‐glacial hillslope processes in governing sediment movement in Arctic mountains.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Engineering
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1045-6740
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 27 May 2019
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2019 05:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/123109

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