Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Elevation Data for the Island Nation of Sri LankaEntry ID: Tsunami_122604_SRTM
Abstract: The topography of the island nation of Sri Lanka is well shown in this color-coded shaded relief map generated with digital elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM).
Two visualization methods were combined to produce the image: shading and color coding of topographic height. The shade image was derived by computing topographic slope in the northwest-southeast direction, so ... that northwest slopes appear bright and southeast slopes appear dark. Color coding is directly related to topographic height, with green at the lower elevations, rising through yellow and tan, to white at the highest elevations.
For this special view heights below 10 meters (33 feet) above sea level have been colored red. These low coastal elevations extend 5 to 10 km (3.1 to 6.2 mi) inland on Sri Lanka and are especially vulnerable to flooding associated with storm surges, rising sea level, or, as in the aftermath of the earthquake of December 26, 2004, tsunami. These so-called tidal waves have occurred numerous times in history and can be especially destructive, but with the advent of the near-global SRTM elevation data planners can better predict which areas are in the most danger and help develop mitigation plans in the event of particular flood events.
Sri Lanka is shaped like a giant teardrop falling from the southern tip of the vast Indian subcontinent. It is separated from India by the 50km (31mi) wide Palk Strait, although there is a series of stepping-stone coral islets known as Adam's Bridge that almost form a land bridge between the two countries. The island is just 350km (217mi) long and only 180km (112mi) wide at its broadest, and is about the same size as Ireland, West Virginia or Tasmania.
The southern half of the island is dominated by beautiful and rugged hill country, and includes Mt Pidurutalagala, the island's highest point at 2524 meters (8281 ft). The entire northern half comprises a large plain extending from the edge of the hill country to the Jaffna peninsula.
Elevation data used in this image were acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on Feb. 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect 3-D measurements of the Earth's surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter (approximately 200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) of the U.S. Department of Defense and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise,Washington, D.C.
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Dataset Title: Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Products
Dataset Release Date: 2000-02-11Online Resource: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/
This data set description is a member of a collection. The collection is described in
LAND SURFACE > LANDSCAPE > LANDSCAPE PATTERNS
LAND SURFACE > GEOMORPHIC LANDFORMS/PROCESSES
LAND SURFACE > TOPOGRAPHY > TERRAIN ELEVATION > TOPOGRAPHICAL RELIEF MAPS
LAND SURFACE > TOPOGRAPHY > TERRAIN ELEVATION
LAND SURFACE > TOPOGRAPHY > TOPOGRAPHIC EFFECTS
OCEANS > COASTAL PROCESSES > COASTAL ELEVATION
OCEANS > OCEAN WAVES > TSUNAMIS
SPECTRAL/ENGINEERING > RADAR > RADAR IMAGERY
Use Constraints There is no guarantee of warranty concerning the accuracy of these data. Users should be aware that temporal changes may have occurred since the data was collected and that some parts of these data may no longer represent actual surface conditions. Users should not use these data for critical applications without a full awareness of their limitations. Acknowledgement of the originating agencies would be appreciated in products derived from these data. Any user who modifies the data set is obligated to describe the types of modifications they perform. User specifically agrees not to misrepresent the data set, nor to imply that changes made were approved or endorsed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Please refer to http://www.usgs.gov/privacy.html for the USGS disclaimer.
Distribution Media: Digital Download
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Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
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Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-02-09
Last DIF Revision Date: 2015-02-12