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Modeling global Hammond landform regions from 250‐m elevation data

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Transactions in GIS

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In 1964, E.H. Hammond proposed criteria for classifying and mapping physiographic regions of the United States. Hammond produced a map entitled “Classes of Land Surface Form in the Forty‐Eight States, USA”, which is regarded as a pioneering and rigorous treatment of regional physiography. Several researchers automated Hammond?s model in GIS. However, these were local or regional in application, and resulted in inadequate characterization of tablelands. We used a global 250 m DEM to produce a new characterization of global Hammond landform regions. The improved algorithm we developed for the regional landform modeling: (1) incorporated a profile parameter for the delineation of tablelands; (2) accommodated negative elevation data values; (3) allowed neighborhood analysis window (NAW) size to vary between parameters; (4) more accurately bounded plains regions; and (5) mapped landform regions as opposed to discrete landform features. The new global Hammond landform regions product builds on an existing global Hammond landform features product developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, which, while globally comprehensive, did not include tablelands, used a fixed NAW size, and essentially classified pixels rather than regions. Our algorithm also permits the disaggregation of “mixed” Hammond types (e.g. plains with high mountains) into their component parts.