Elevation-relief ratio, hypsometric integral, and geomorphic area-altitude analysis

Richard J. Pike, Stephen E. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

551 Scopus citations


Mathematical proof establishes identity of hypsometric integral and elevation-relief ratio, two quantitative topographic descriptors developed independently of one another for entirely different purposes. Operationally, values of both measures are in excellent agreement for arbitrarily bounded topographic samples, as well as for low-order fluvial watersheds. By using a point-sampling technique rather than planimetry, elevation-relief ratio (defined as mean elevation minus minimum elevation divided by relief) is calculated manually in about a third of the time required for the hypsometric integral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1084
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1971

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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