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Calculate DEM Surface Area

version (2.71 KB) by Juernjakob Dugge
Calculate the corrected surface area of a digital elevation model.


Updated 13 Jun 2013

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The true surface area of a landscape is greater than its projected (i.e. "flat") surface area. This submission estimates the true surface area of a digital elevation model by calculating the surface area of the eight three-dimensional triangles formed by each cell centre and its eight neighbouring cell centres.

The approach is based on Jenness, Jeff S. 2004. “Calculating Landscape Surface Area from Digital Elevation Models.” Wildlife Society Bulletin 32 (3): 829–839.

Cite As

Juernjakob Dugge (2019). Calculate DEM Surface Area (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (3)

I'll have to agree! Thanks for a great function

Rob Law

thank you thank you thank you thank you

syed fazil


Changed function name to reflect file name, added image illustrating the approach

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2013a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux