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A new edge detector based on mathematical morphology to preserve thin edge features in low-contrast regions as well as other apparent edges is proposed. A quad-decomposition edge enhancement process, a thresholding process, and a mask-based noise filtering process were developed and used to enhance thin edge features, extract edge points and filter out some meaningless noise points, respectively. Moreover, five bipolar oriented edge masks were also designed to remove most of the incorrectly detected edge features. Many experiments were conducted to evaluate and compare the performance of the proposed algorithm and several conventional ones. Pratt's figure of merit achieved by the proposed algorithm was as high as 92.5. The comprehensive experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is capable of preserving thin edge details successfully in low-contrast regions and is robust against noise.