Kapos Mountain Classification


Kapos Mountain Classification

Represented classes

Non-mountaineous areas

Kapos 1: >4,500 m

Kapos 2: 3,500–4,500 m

Kapos 3: 2,500–3,499 m

Kapos 4: 1,500–2,499 m and Slope > 2deg

Kapos 5: 1,000–1,499 m and Slope > 5deg

Kapos 6: 300–999 m and LER > 300m

Kapos 7: Isolated inner basins/plateau < 25km2


The Kapos Mountain Classification Map (K1) used a global 250m DEM (GMTED2010) that was processed using a combination of elevation, slope and relative relief. Relative relief, or ruggedness, is the difference between maximum and minimum elevation in a moving neighborhood analysis window (NAW) and is computed for every raster cell. The layer defines six classes of mountains, where the upper three classes were defined by elevation ranges. The lower three classes were defined either by a combination of elevation and slope, or elevation and relative relief. The circular NAW for computing the relative relief used a 5 pixel (~7 km) radius for an approximate NAW size of 150 km2.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Source data

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with Esri, the Center for Development and Environment of the University of Bern (CDE), the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA), and the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI)



Two geographic information systems (GIS)-based characterizations derived from global digital elevation models (DEMs) at a spatial resolution of approximately 1 km have considerably advanced our understanding of the global distribution of mountains. The first global mountains raster GIS datalayer was produced by Kapos et al. (2000), herein referred to as K1. The second global mountains raster GIS datalayer was produced by Körner et al. (2011), herein referred to as K2. A new global mountains raster GIS data layer was recently produced by Karagulle et al. (2017), herein referred to as K3.

Spatial resolution

Global coverage

250m spatial resolution

Temporal resolution

Period of observation: 2019