Using DTM and LIDAR Data to Analyze Human Induced Topographic Change in Owings Mills, MD
 
McGuire, M.
 
Human induced topographic change directly impacts and transforms the ecosystem of a development site. Recently research in topographic change analysis has focused on detection of change over a large area or change in coastal areas. There is not a great deal of research which studies topographic change as a result of suburban development. This study uses digital terrain model DTM data generated from photogrammetry and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data to analyze topographic change which occurred as a result of development between 1996 and 2002 in Owings Mills, MD. To assess the error in comparing the two data sets, RMSE was calculated in three control areas. Volumetric change was measured in terms of positive, negative, and net topographic change. Three dimensional visualization techniques were used to illustrate and characterize topographic change. Some developments experienced positive topographic change which suggests a fill grading technique. Other developments experienced a negative topographic change which suggests a cut grading technique. Both positive and negative change occurred in other developments which suggests a combination of cut and fill grading techniques. A statistical analysis was undertaken to 1) determine significant differences between commercial and residential developments in terms of positive, negative, and net topographic change and 2) determine the significance of average slope prior to development on total volumetric change. No statistical significance was found between commercial and residential developments. A positive correlation was found between average slope prior to development and total topographic change. It is recommended that this study be carried out further to a wider area to incorporate a larger number of developments. Also, further research is needed to determine how human induced topographic change affects soil properties and the ecosystem of the development site.
 
Keywords: topography, lidar, Owings Mills
 

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