Digital reconstructions of late Quaternary landscapes can be produced using a geographic information system (GIS) method that subtracts interpolated isobase values from modern elevations and bathymetry. The principal utility of the GIS method for reconstructing late Quaternary landscapes is in the relative ease and rapidity with which high-resolution, quantitative, and georeferenced databases of paleo-topography can be generated. These databases can be used for many purposes, including the generation of paleo-topographic maps, the estimation of the areas and volumes of individual water bodies and landforms, and the approximation of paleo-shoreline positions. GIS-based estimates of the dimensions of water bodies and landforms can be used to help constrain hydrological and climatic models of the late Quaternary.
- Geographic information system (GIS)
- Isostatic rebound
- Late Quaternary
- Paleo-topographic model