We examine the various methods and parameters in common use for quantifying and reporting surface topographic "roughness." It is shown that scale-dependent roughness parameters are almost always required, though not widely used. We suggest a method of standardizing the parameters that are computed and reported so that topographic data gathered by different workers using different field techniques can be directly and easily intercompared. We illustrate the proposed method by analyzing topographic data from 60 different surfaces gathered by five different groups and examine the information for common features. We briefly discuss the implications of our analysis for studies of planetary surface roughness, lander safety, and radar remote sensing modeling and analysis. Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
The roughness of natural terrain: A planetary and remote sensing perspective