Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 121, Issue 1–2, pp 59–72 | Cite as

Remote Sensing of Mars: Detection of Impact Craters on the Mars Global Surveyor DTM by Integrating Edge- and Region-Based Algorithms

  • C. D. Athanassas
  • A. Vaiopoulos
  • P. Kolokoussis
  • D. Argialas


This study integrates two different computer vision approaches, namely the circular Hough transform (CHT) and the determinant of Hessian (DoH), to detect automatically the largest number possible of craters of any size on the digital terrain model (DTM) generated by the Mars Global Surveyor mission. Specifically, application of the standard version of CHT to the DTM captured a great number of craters with diameter smaller than ~ 50 km only, failing to capture larger craters. On the other hand, DoH was successful in detecting craters that were undetected by CHT, but its performance was deterred by the irregularity of the topographic surface encompassed: strongly undulated and inclined (trended) topographies hindered crater detection. When run on a de-trended DTM (and keeping the topology unaltered) DoH scored higher. Current results, although not optimal, encourage combined use of CHT and DoH for routine crater detection undertakings.


Circular Hough transform Derivative of hessian Blobs Computer vision Digital terrain model 



The authors thank an anonymous reviewer for providing constructive comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. D. Athanassas
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Vaiopoulos
    • 1
  • P. Kolokoussis
    • 1
  • D. Argialas
    • 1
  1. 1.Remote Sensing Laboratory, School of Rural and Surveying EngineeringNational Technical University of Athens (NTUA)Zografou, AthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Geological Sciences, School of Mining and Metallurgical EngineeringNTUAZografou, AthensGreece

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