Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): S.E. Reutebuch; R.J. McGaugheyH.-E. Andersen; W.W. Carson
    Date: 2003
    Source: Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 29(5): 527-535.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.01 KB)


    Airborne laser scanning systems can provide terrain elevation data for open areas with a vertical accuracy of 15 cm. In this study, a high-resolution digital terrain model (DTM) was produced from high-density lidar data. Vegetation in the 500-ha mountainous study area varied from bare ground to dense 70-year-old conifer forest. Conventional ground survey methods were used to collect coordinates and near-ground vegetation heights at 347 ground checkpoints distributed under a range of canopy covers. These points were used to check the DTM accuracy. The mean DTM error was 0.22 ± 0.24 m (mean ± SD). DTM elevation errors for four tree canopy cover classes were: clearcut 0.16 ± 0.23 m, heavily thinned 0.18 ± 0.14 m, lightly thinned 0.18 ± 0.18 m, and uncut 0.31 ± 0.29 m. These DTM errors show a slight increase with canopy density but the differences are strikingly small. In general, the lidar DTM was found to be extremely accurate and potentially very useful in forestry.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Reutebuch, S.E.; McGaughey, R.J.; Andersen, H.-E.; Carson, W.W. 2003. Accuracy of a high-resolution lidar terrain model under a conifer forest canopy. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 29(5): 527-535.


    Lidar, digital terrain model, accuracy

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page