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Dec 7 / Dave Schumaker

Most Detailed Map of San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault from LIDAR imageMore news from this years 2005 AGU meeting. Scientists from Ohio State University released the first images of the most detailed survey ever conducted along the San Andreas Fault. Using GPS technology, as well as LIDAR systems mounted in a small aircraft, they flew along 1,000 kilometers of the fault. Their data has 5cm vertical resolution. The hope is to compare this high resolution data of before an earthquake occurs to high resolution data taken after a large earthquake occurs to further characterize what happens during an earthquake.

They loaded their equipment on board a twin-engine Cessna airplane, and covered nearly 1,000 kilometers (621.37 miles) of the fault in two months of flights, during May and August of 2005.

Bevis recalled that the flights required near-heroic effort from the team pilots. “We had to fly low and closely manage the orientation of the aircraft at all times so we knew exactly where the laser on the lidar instrument was pointing,” he said.

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