• I. U. Nzelibe Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
  • I. N. Mogaji Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
  • H. Tata Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria



ALOS PALSAR, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Satellite Imagery, Sentinel-1, TanDEM-X, Terrain Modelling


This research conducts a comparative analysis of the vertical accuracies of satellite-derived Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) in the Akure South Local Government Area, Ondo State, Nigeria. The DEMs assessed were obtained from three open-source satellite missions: Sentinel-1A, ALOS PALSAR, and TanDEM-X. The reference Ground Control Points (GCPs) used in the evaluations comprised 133 GCPs of 2nd and 3rd-order accuracy acquired from the Office of the Surveyor General, Ondo State, and through field surveys using the South Galaxy-1 Differential GPS. These obtained GCPs provided extensive coverage of the study area. The evaluation was undertaken based on the land cover, which was established by dividing the study area into open (built-up and bare land) and vegetation-covered (agricultural and forested) areas. The vertical accuracies of the satellite-based DEM collected within the study area were then compared and analyzed. The results revealed that Sentinel-1A and TanDEM-X were the most suitable in both open and vegetation-covered parts of the study area, with Sentinel-1A exhibiting the best performance. The effect of vegetation cover was mostly felt by ALOS PALSAR. Sentinel-1A and TanDEM-X displayed commendable vertical accuracies, deemed highly suitable for applications in topographic mapping, as shown by an RMS of less than 2m. This research recommends the open-source satellite DEMs Sentinel-1A and TanDEM-X for planning and engineering applications because they offer the highest accuracy among their counterparts within Akure and its environs.


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