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Topographic Indices, Baltimore

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Type: Resource
Storage: The size of this resource is 2.1 GB
Created: Jul 15, 2019 at 4:35 p.m.
Last updated: Oct 23, 2019 at 1:49 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.9afed1aa2aa348fa9c199df30938e9d5
Citation: See how to cite this resource
Content types: Geographic Raster Content 
Sharing Status: Published
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Topographic indices calculated in support of Kelleher and McPhillips (in review). We calculated two topographic indices - absolute sink depth (m) and topographic wetness index (-) - using TauDEM (v. 5.3) software and the D-infinity flow routing algorithm.

Watersheds include Gwynns Falls [gwynn] and Jones Falls [jones]. Naming convention and sites are shown in the associated manuscript. Note that processing for Baltimore is limited to the extent of each watershed that overlaps with the Baltimore city limits, though processing occurred for the entire watershed and was masked to this area.

Values were processed based on the LiDAR digital elevation model (DEM) for Baltimore, linked below in references. As presented in the associated manuscript, all topographic index values were extracted for all surfaces (e.g., bare soil, pavement, sidewalks, and vegetated areas) that excluded open water and building footprints (where topographic processing and DEM coverages are less reliable). Land cover datasets are linked below.

Naming convention for all files first specifies watershed name (Baltimore; gwynn, jones) followed by topographic index type (twi = topographic wetness index, sink = sink depth).

Descriptions for how each topographic index are calculated are specified in the associated manuscript. Generally, sink depths were calculated by differencing the filled and unfilled DEMs, and TWI was calculated from topographic slope and accumulated area, both processed within TauDEM (note: when negative slopes were calculated, these were replaced with very small values, e.g., 0.001).

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Data Services

The following web services are available for data contained in this resource. Geospatial Feature and Raster data are made available via Open Geospatial Consortium Web Services. The provided links can be copied and pasted into GIS software to access these data. Multidimensional NetCDF data are made available via a THREDDS Data Server using remote data access protocols such as OPeNDAP. Other data services may be made available in the future to support additional data types.

Related Resources


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network 1444755

How to Cite

Kelleher, C., L. McPhillips (2019). Topographic Indices, Baltimore, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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