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Applications of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Elevation Data



The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was flown in February 2000 and collected the first ever high-resolution near-global digital elevation data. The final SRTM data have become widely available at 1 arc-second resolution for the United States and 3 arc-second resolution for other areas. This article reviews the background of the SRTM mission, the data quality characteristics of the SRTM elevation data, and the many applications of SRTM elevation data that have emerged in recent years, including forest ecology, volcanology, glaciology, geomorphology, and hydrology. SRTM data have been particularly useful for areas where previously limited topographic data were available, but results from STRM data also compare reasonably well with those obtained from other high-resolution digital elevation models.