Large Scale Terrain Generation from Tectonic Uplift and Fluvial Erosion

Abstract : At large scale, landscapes result from the combination of two major processes: tectonics which generate the main relief through crust uplift, and weather which accounts for erosion. This paper presents the first method in computer graphics that combines uplift and hydraulic erosion to generate visually plausible terrains. Given a user-painted uplift map, we generate a stream graph over the entire domain embedding elevation information and stream flow. Our approach relies on the stream power equation introduced in geology for hydraulic erosion. By combining crust uplift and stream power erosion we generate large realistic terrains at a low computational cost. Finally, we convert this graph into a digital elevation model by blending landform feature kernels whose parameters are derived from the information in the graph. Our method gives high-level control over the large scale dendritic structures of the resulting river networks, watersheds, and mountains ridges.
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Guillaume Cordonnier, Jean Braun, Marie-Paule Cani, Bedrich Benes, Eric Galin, et al.. Large Scale Terrain Generation from Tectonic Uplift and Fluvial Erosion. Computer Graphics Forum, Wiley, 2016, Proc. EUROGRAPHICS 2016, 35 (2), pp.165-175. ⟨10.1111/cgf.12820⟩. ⟨hal-01262376⟩

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