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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Martz, Lawrence

Submitted to: An Automated Digital Landscape Analysis Tool: Topaz Overview
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The identification of drainage properties of the land surface has traditionally been performed by evaluation of maps or surveys. These methods are time and resource intensive, particularly for large watersheds. Drainage properties of the land surface can be determined automatically by computer if the land surface has been digitized. A computer software package has been developed by ARS to define topographic landscape properties for use by surface runoff, erosion and water quality models. This document describes the software package TOPAZ and the methods by which the software evaluates the digital topography, the limitations, and the required data to operate the software. The document is needed to inform the scientific and engineering community of the software and to provide and overview of the software, its capabilities, requirements and operation.

Technical Abstract: TOPAZ (TOpographic PArameteriZation) is a software package for automated analysis of digital landscape topography. TOPAZ uses a raster digital elevation model to identify and measure topographic features, define surface drainage, subdivide watersheds along drainage divides, quantify the drainage network, and calculate representative subcatchment parameters. TOPAZ is designed primarily to assist with topographic evaluation and watershed parameterization in support of hydrologic modeling and analysis. TOPAZ can also be used to address a variety of geomorphological, environmental and remote sensing applications. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief overview of the methods used in TOPAZ; limitations and capabilities of the software; TOPAZ organization and operation; input requirements and output; and, available documentation.

Last Modified: 05/25/2017
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