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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
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Short communication 20 Jul 2018

Short communication | 20 Jul 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).

Short communication: The Topographic Analysis Kit (TAK) for TopoToolbox

Adam M. Forte1 and Kelin X. Whipple2 Adam M. Forte and Kelin X. Whipple
  • 1Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • 2School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Abstract. Quantitative analysis of digital topographic data is an increasingly important part of many studies in the geosciences. Initially, performing these analyses was a niche endeavor, requiring detailed domain knowledge and programming skills, but increasingly broad, flexible, open source code bases have been developed to increasingly democratize topographic analysis. However, many of these still require specific computing environments and/or moderate levels of knowledge of both the relevant programming language and the correct way to take these fundamental building blocks and conduct an efficient and effective topographic analysis. To partially address this, we have written the Topographic Analysis Kit (TAK) which leverages the power of one of these open source libraries, TopoToolbox, to build a series of high-level topographic analysis tools to perform a variety of common topographic analyses, including generation of maps of normalized channel steepness or chi and selection and statistical analysis of populations of watersheds. No programming skills or advanced Matlab capability is required for effective use of TAK. In addition, to expand the utility of TAK, along with the primary functions, which like the underlying TopoToolbox functions require Matlab and several proprietary toolboxes to run, we provide compiled versions of these functions that use the free Matlab Runtime Environment for users who do not have institutional access to Matlab or all of the required toolboxes.

Adam M. Forte and Kelin X. Whipple
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Adam M. Forte and Kelin X. Whipple
Adam M. Forte and Kelin X. Whipple
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Quantitative analysis of digital topography is an important part of many modern geologic investigations. We have constructed a series of open source tools, the Topographic Analysis Kit (TAK), built on top of the existing TopoToolbox library, to allow for efficient and easy analysis of topography that limits the required computing and domain specific knowledge necessary to successfully produce robust analyses of topographic data.
Quantitative analysis of digital topography is an important part of many modern geologic...