Geographia Technica, Special Issue 2010, pp. 12 - 19


Athanassia DARRA, Marinos KAVOURAS, Nikos TZELEPIS

ABSTRACT: Relief characterization of administrative units has been very important to national statistical authorities. It is a basic spatial property upon which numerous other phenomena occur. A recently completed project for the National Statistical Service of Greece, had to deal with the global characterization of the municipalities and sub-municipalities (local departments) of the entire Greek territory, into mountainous, semi-mountainous or plane (flat) terrain (M/S/P) according to their topographic relief characteristics. Contrary to the limitations of manual/visual characterizations of the past, this digital procedure is based on a single, explicit, quantified, objective and controllable approach. It involves analysis of morphological characteristics of the entire country, using an appropriate digital terrain model where the main relief parameters affecting the resulting characterization were elevation and slope. Instead of just calculating a final, global characterization (M/S/P) for each municipality or local department, the methodology provides important and very useful individual, internal relief information for each area. The results are presented with series of 2D and 3D relief-type maps, which do not however portray elevation but the weighed characterization relief index expressing “mountainicity”. Also, the use of the ternary diagram proves to be very useful in detecting similarities and dissimilarities among the different areas in question.

Keywords: Relief characterization, Digital Terrain Models, Administrative units, maps.

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