Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Western US Ruggedness Reclassified into 6 Classes

February 23, 2018

"Vector Ruggedness Measure (VRM) measures terrain ruggedness as the variation in three-dimensional orientation of grid cells within a neighborhood. Vector analysis is used to calculate the dispersion of vectors normal (orthogonal) to grid cells within the specified neighborhood. This method effectively captures variability in slope and aspect into a single measure. Ruggedness values in the output raster can range from 0 (no terrain variation) to 1 (complete terrain variation). Typical values for natural terrains range between 0 and about 0.4. VRM was adapted from a method first proposed by Hobson (1972). VRM appears to decouple terrain ruggedness from slope better than current ruggedness indices, such as TRI or LSRI. See Sappington et al. 2007, for further details" (Sappington 2012). After calculating raw VRM values we, binned the values into 6 classes using Jenks Natural Breaks for use in the Land Treatment Planning Tool Similarity Index. Classes range from very low to very high.

Publication Year 2018
Title Western US Ruggedness Reclassified into 6 Classes
DOI 10.5066/F7348JN3
Authors Justin Welty, Michelle Jeffries
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC) Headquarters