ES 351, ES 771, ES 775
A typical Landsat image displays many aspects of the landscape, such as vegetation, water bodies, soils, human land use, and morphology. This allows the user to comprehend various geomorphic processes and landforms present in the same region. Landsat imagery provides the first possibility to objectively map major geomorphic units over broad areas of the Earth's surface.
Pain (1985) concluded that Landsat MSS images could provide considerably more details about landforms at a scale of 1:100,000 than conventional topographic maps do at the same scale. Elevation information is, in fact, the only significance geomorphic data not readily apparent on most Landsat images. This shortcoming can be overcome, however, by merging Landsat images with digital elevation models.
Landsat imagery is most appropriate for regional landscape analysis at scales ranging from 1:100,000 to 1:1,000,000. However, the resolution and pixel sizes of both MSS and TM images are not appropriate for large-scale study of small geomorphic features. This scale limitation for the use of Landsat imagery is an important aspect to keep in mind, especially for those who are more accustomed to working with large-scale topographic maps or air-photo interpretation. Landsat images are ideal sources of information for medium-scale geomorphic mapping at 1:100,000 or smaller scales (Aber et al. 1993).
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