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DEM - 3D Area Calculations from an overlapping polygon??

Question asked by javier.j.leija1 on Sep 23, 2020

I have a DEM and I'd like to calculate the 3D surface area at predefined buffers (which are created around a known centerpoint) and create a ratio of 3D surface area / 2D surface area for the buffers and I have a few questions.

This is where I'm at. When I run the create buffers tool I defined the buffer for a circle at 10m, ArcGIS Pro takes the perfect circle I've asked for with a true 2D area of 314.1592654 and draws it out, and outputs a planar 2D area of 313.935466. I know it takes the perfect circle I've asked for because in the attribute table there is a BUFF_DIST field with 10m populated for all buffers. The way I Imagine it is I have a perfect blanket with 10m radius and once I throw it over earth, that's the output area. 

My confusion stems over what the add surface information tool does. When I run the Add Surface Information tool, what does ArcGIS pro do? Does it take the perfect circle I've defined as the input or does it take the planar 2D area as input to calculate the 3D area for the output?

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