Active Earthquake Fault Discovered With LiDAR

This project started out 4 years ago with research into glaciers in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Idaho State University Professor Glenn Thackray was studying a high resolution, LiDAR-derived bare earth model of the region when he noticed something very interesting.

“The black line stood out and I thought that it had to be an earthquake fault,” Thackray said. “It was long suspected that there was an active fault in the Sawtooths, but without the LIDAR technology it would have been exceptionally hard to find.”

The fault has been documented on the ground and is also being investigated through lake core sampling in the area which revealed landslides caused by the most recent earthquake some 4,100 and 7,000 years ago.

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