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Determining aspect

Release 9.2
Last modified May 2, 2007
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Aspect identifies the steepest downslope direction from each cell to its neighbors. It can be thought of as slope direction or the compass direction a hill faces.

Learn how to calculate aspect using the Spatial Analyst toolbar

Learn how to calculate aspect using the Aspect tool

Aspect is measured clockwise in degrees from 0, due north, to 360, again due north, coming full circle. The value of each cell in an aspect dataset indicates the direction the cell's slope faces. Flat areas having no downslope direction are given a value of -1.

Surface aspect 1

The diagram below shows an input elevation dataset and the output aspect raster.

Surface aspect 2

Why use the Aspect tool?

With the Aspect tool, you can:

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