grdtrend - Fit trend surface to grids and compute residuals


grdtrend grdfile -Nn_model[+r] [ ] [ -Rregion ] [ ] [ ]

Note: No space is allowed between the option flag and the associated arguments.


grdtrend reads a 2-D grid file and fits a low-order polynomial trend to these data by [optionally weighted] least-squares. The trend surface is defined by:

m1 + m2*x + m3*y + m4*x*y + m5*x*x + m6*y*y + m7*x*x*x + m8*x*x*y + m9*x*y*y + m10*y*y*y.

The user must specify -Nn_model, the number of model parameters to use; thus, -N3 fits a bilinear trend, -N6 a quadratic surface, and so on. Optionally, append +r to the -N option to perform a robust fit. In this case, the program will iteratively reweight the data based on a robust scale estimate, in order to converge to a solution insensitive to outliers. This may be handy when separating a “regional” field from a “residual” which should have non-zero mean, such as a local mountain on a regional surface.

If data file has values set to NaN, these will be ignored during fitting; if output files are written, these will also have NaN in the same locations.

Required Arguments

The name of a 2-D binary grid file.
n_model sets the number of model parameters to fit. Append +r for robust fit.

Optional Arguments
Write the difference (input data - trend) to the file
-Rxmin/xmax/ymin/ymax[+r][+uunit] (more ...)
Specify the region of interest. Using the -R option will select a subsection of the input grid. If this subsection exceeds the boundaries of the grid, only the common region will be extracted.
Write the fitted trend to the file
-V[level] (more ...)
Select verbosity level [c].
If exists, it will be read and used to solve a weighted least-squares problem. [Default: Ordinary least-squares fit.] If the robust option has been selected, the weights used in the robust fit will be written to
-^ or just -
Print a short message about the syntax of the command, then exits (NOTE: on Windows just use -).
-+ or just +
Print an extensive usage (help) message, including the explanation of any module-specific option (but not the GMT common options), then exits.
-? or no arguments
Print a complete usage (help) message, including the explanation of all options, then exits.


The domain of x and y will be shifted and scaled to [-1, 1] and the basis functions are built from Legendre polynomials. These have a numerical advantage in the form of the matrix which must be inverted and allow more accurate solutions. NOTE: The model parameters listed with -V are Legendre polynomial coefficients; they are not numerically equivalent to the m#s in the equation described above. The description above is to allow the user to match -N with the order of the polynomial surface. See grdmath if you need to evaluate the trend using the reported coefficients.

Grid File Formats

By default GMT writes out grid as single precision floats in a COARDS-complaint netCDF file format. However, GMT is able to produce grid files in many other commonly used grid file formats and also facilitates so called “packing” of grids, writing out floating point data as 1- or 2-byte integers. (more ...)


To remove a planar trend from and write result in

gmt grdtrend -N3

To do a robust fit of a bicubic surface to, writing the result in and the weights used in, and reporting the progress:

gmt grdtrend -N10+r -V