Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 312870, 26 pages
Research Article

Derivation of Geodesic Flow Fields and Spectrum in Digital Topographic Basins

Sin Liang Lim1 and B. S. Daya Sagar2

1Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University, Melaka Campus, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, Melaka 75450, Malaysia
2Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC), Indian Statistical Institute-Bangalore Centre, 8th Mile, Mysore Road, RV College PO, Bangalore, Karnataka 560059, Bangalore, India

Received 9 October 2007; Accepted 14 May 2008

Academic Editor: Marko Robnik

Copyright © 2008 Sin Liang Lim and B. S. Daya Sagar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present a framework to characterize terrestrial functions—surficial and bottom topographic regions that are represented, respectively, as raster digital elevation models (DEMs) and digital bathymetric models (DBMs)—through analysis of flow fields that are simulated via geodesic morphology. Characterization of such functions is done via a new descriptor. Computation of this new descriptor involves the following steps: (i) basin in digital form representing topographic fluctuations as an input, (ii) threshold decomposition of basin—that consists of channelized and nonchannelized regions—into sets, (iii) proper indexing of these sets to decide the marker set(s) and its (their) corresponding mask set(s), (iv) performing geodesic propagation that provides basic flow field structures, and (v) finally providing a new basin descriptor—geodesic spectrum. We demonstrated this five-step framework on five different synthetic and/or realistic DEMs and/or DBMs. This study provides potentially invaluable insights to further study the travel-time flood propagation within basins of both fluvial and tidal systems.