NbS: Assess project terrain steepness from elevation data

Modified on Tue, 28 Mar, 2023 at 12:21 PM

When you are assessing a project for additionality, one of the things that you will want to assess is whether the project boundaries have been manipulated based on the topography, for example, to include areas which would be very difficult to deforest anyway, such as steep ravines. This template project allows you to classify the area into gentle and steep slopes based on the slope %, it also allows you to look at the elevation above sea level of your project site, again classifying areas into bands of 500m. The example area is Cambodia, but you can choose whatever country (or area) is of interest. 


Demonstration Video

What should I use this template for?

This template project should be used to assess if project boundaries have been manipulated to include terrain which would be very difficult to deforest, such as steep ravines. By classifying the area into gentle and steep slopes you can examine the boundary of the project to see whether areas of steep slopes have been included for no obvious reason.

You can also use this project to look at the elevation, again to assess the accessibility of a project site, but it also feeds into the characterisation of your project. This can be useful when comparing with a reference region.

What data has been used?

This template uses the SRTM Digital Elevation Data which provides elevation data for the whole globe. Further processing has been applied to the dataset to give you access to the slope (in both degrees and percentage) and the aspect.

What do the outputs show me?

Map Outputs

This project has three output map layers. The first, as shown in the screenshot below, is the Elevation in metres above sea level. There are also then the Elevation Classes which allocate areas into bands of 500m, and the Slope Classes which allocate areas into either gentle or steep slopes.

Dashboard Outputs

This template has two table outputs one which provides the area in each elevation class and the other for each slope class, reported for each of the five project sites in the example. These tables can be downloaded from Earth Blox in CSV format.

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