PREDICTION OF WIND SPEEDS BASED ON DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS USING BOOSTED REGRESSION TREES
Keywords: Digital Elevation Model, Wind Speed, Non-Parametric Regression
Abstract. In this paper a new approach is presented to predict maximum wind speeds using Gradient Boosted Regression Trees (GBRT). GBRT are a non-parametric regression technique used in various applications, suitable to make predictions without having an in-depth a-priori knowledge about the functional dependancies between the predictors and the response variables. Our aim is to predict maximum wind speeds based on predictors, which are derived from a digital elevation model (DEM). The predictors describe the orography of the Area-of-Interest (AoI) by various means like first and second order derivatives of the DEM, but also higher sophisticated classifications describing exposure and shelterness of the terrain to wind flux. In order to take the different scales into account which probably influence the streams and turbulences of wind flow over complex terrain, the predictors are computed on different spatial resolutions ranging from 30 m up to 2000 m. The geographic area used for examination of the approach is Switzerland, a mountainious region in the heart of europe, dominated by the alps, but also covering large valleys. The full workflow is described in this paper, which consists of data preparation using image processing techniques, model training using a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm, in-depth analysis of the trained model, validation of the model and application of the model to generate a wind speed map.