LiDAR Map of Lake Tahoe: Seeing Faults, Landslides and Other Landforms with Lasers

11/18/2011; 82 minutes

Recent advances in both airborne and terrestrial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technologies allow imaging of Lake Tahoe landforms in a completely different light. In 2010, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and partners funded the first airborne LiDAR survey of the Tahoe basin,providing an amazing data set to explore landforms. This technology allows the user to strip away trees (or study the canopy) to reveal an amazing picture of unheralded clarity (sub-meter horizontal and 3.5 centimeter vertical resolution). Active faults, landslides and other landforms jump off the screen, enabling discoveries such as the landward extension of basin-forming faults (such as the West Tahoe and Incline Village faults). Paleo-landslides abound. Together with Sonar mapping in the lakes of the Tahoe Basin, the first true baseline of the basin is recorded. Dr. Graham M. Kent is the Director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory and Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering
at the University of Nevada, Reno. Previous to July 2009, Graham was a Research Geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and had been Director of the Visualization Center at Scripps from 2001-2009. Dr. Kent is a native of Lake Tahoe, California, where he graduated from South Tahoe High School in 1980.

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