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Comparison: Curvature Plan vs Curvature Profile

Two 3D maps of an area being compared side-by-side.

Curvature derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) is a measure of the shape of the Earth’s surface. It can be used to identify areas that are prone to landslides, flooding, and other natural hazards. It can also be used to plan transportation routes and infrastructure projects.

There are two main types of curvature: plan curvature and profile curvature. Plan curvature measures the amount of curvature in a plane and can indicate whether flow will diverge or converge over areas. Profile curvature measures the amount of curvature in a vertical profile and can be used to easily identify ridges and valleys.

Curvature can be used for a variety of applications including landslide hazard assessment, floodplain mapping, transportation planning, and environmental monitoring. It is a valuable tool for planners, engineers, and scientists who need to understand the shape of the Earth’s surface and its implications.

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