• Use of Integrated MASTER Multispectral Imagery and LiDAR DEM for Active Fault Detection and Evaluation
Program Disasters Program
PI / Institution Florante G Perez / Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey
Start Date July 17, 2009
End Date July 16, 2010
  • Summary

    This feasibility study proposal is submitted in response to the NASA Research Announcement NNH08ZDA001N. It specifically responds to Disaster Management applications of the Earth Sciences Division of the Applied Sciences Program. We propose to assess the value of MASTER data, when integrated with LiDAR data, to the detection and evaluation of active faults. Surface fault rupture during earthquakes disrupts infrastructure, damages the natural and built environments, and can cause injuries and death. The California Geological Survey (CGS) has the authority and responsibility, under the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act of 1972, to identify and map active faults in California for the purpose of surface rupture hazard identification and mitigation through regulatory zoning. Active faults are typically identified by their geomorphic signature as well as by the juxtaposition of dissimilar geologic units. However, many faults in youthful terrain often do not have a strong geomorphic signature. This study will assess the additive values of multispectral data from the NASA-MASTER 2004/2006 Southern California Faults Special Project (SCF) and the high spatial resolution and accuracy of recent LiDAR data to the identification and accurate location of active faults. Successful methodologies will be directly applied to the decision-making process for hazard zoning at CGS and will increase public safety through better mitigation of the hazard of surface faulting during earthquakes. A by-product of this study will be more accurate mapping of the various strands of the San Andreas Fault within the study areas, thus allowing more focused and efficient hazard mitigation strategies. The fault mapping will also provide a baseline to compare with future ground rupture when it occurs. Future ground rupture will be the ultimate test of the accuracy and thoroughness of the methodologies employed.