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Earthquake Fault Lines Mapped with Lidar

chart of Earthquake Fault Lines

It can’t stop earthquakes, but it can help show where the most damage could be. Using a high tech tool called LIDAR, the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) released a four year study that for the first time shows a detailed mapping of earthquake fault lines along the Wasatch Front that could cause surface rupture during an earthquake.

From ABC4 News Salt Lake City, Utah.

LIDAR which stands for Light detection and ranging uses laser pulses in conjunction with data from other components in an airborne system. Combined it creates a 3D presentation of the part of the earth it was used to map.

In the case of UGS, it is the Wasatch Fault Zone, with the goal of showing where an earthquake here can cause a surface rupture. Giving state officials new information that can be used for decisions like where to build in the valleys.

Surface rupture is scary. If it happens when an earthquake hits, the fault can cause the land to break, rise up, or sink down. Either way, it can cause significant damage to homes, schools, buildings, businesses, and other infrastructure along the Wasatch Front.

To see the new fault line data along the Wasatch Front look at the slide show below. What you will see is a representation of what’s happened up to 2,600,000 years ago plus the new information from the current survey.

chart of Earthquake Fault Lines

The press release from the USGC says researchers recently acquired high-resolution elevation surveys (LIDAR) derived from laser sensors mounted on aircraft. These surveys were literally fault mapping and allowed for a new delineation of surrounding special study zones. Now it becomes a critical tool letting us know where the fault zones are and making it easier for decisions to be made when it comes to earthquakes, safety and development.

For the complete article on earthquake fault lines CLICK HERE.

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