Is it surface tracking or terrain following?

Not even sure where to post this, but here goes. Descriptions on the surface (haha) say tracking is using a sensor to determine the correct elevation and following is using srtm data. But other parts of terrain following talk about using lidar or srtm data. What I really want to know is what happens if you’re using a lidar altimeter and it drops out from being too high or poor returns from wet conditions and low reflectivity. I’m working in an area with spotty srtm. Even worse, some of the data is way off compared to recent lidar scans. Will the copter default to the requested elevation relative to the LZ zone if no srtm tiles are available? These are things I like to learn, but not the hard way lol!