Sunday, January 31, 2016

Short Course just completed: Imaging and Analyzing Southern California's Active Faults with High Resolution Topography

We just completed our most recent OpenTopography short course: Imaging and Analyzing Southern California's Active Faults with High Resolution Topography. The course was sponsored by The Southern California Earthquake Center, UNAVCO, EarthScope, and OpenTopography. It was a pleasure to work again Chris Crosby and Ed Nissen and many thanks to Alana Williams (along with Jessica Sutton, Barrett Salisbury, and Gayatri Marliyani) for the local logistical support.

Nice montage put together by Barrett Salisbury for the course advertisement.

We had 90 applications for just 34 slots, so we emphasized early career scientists (mostly graduate students), and research in Southern California given SCEC's sponsorship. We hope to run another course soon (April 2016?) to catch up a bit more with the demand. It was wonderful to meet new people and share our enthusiasm for high resolution topography!

Students hard at work in the computer lab--Ed Nissen at the controls.

New: We recorded some of the talks. I made a summary playlist of my talk as a test. The audio is not great, but it is a summary motivation for the meeting: Sharpening our view of earth processes with high resolution topography

Summary write up for EarthScope newsletter but of relevance here too:

High resolution topographic data has become an important tool for earthquake scientists to make detailed observations and model surface evolution. Within the last decade, several efforts have been made to collect high resolution topographic (HRT) data for active faults (e.g. The B4 project, EarthScope, and numerous National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping--NCALM and USGS projects). These datasets are freely available online through OpenTopography, a NSF funded data distribution portal. The active faulting community has taken great interest in these exciting datasets, using them to generate new and important insights into earthquake processes in Southern California and elsewhere.

The EarthScope program supported the acquisition of several thousand square km of high resolution topography from lidar along active faults of the western US. The target areas included Northern, Southern & Eastern California (everything not already covered by the B4 project along the San Jacinto fault and southern San Andreas Fault; Prentice, et al., 2009), Yakima (Washington), Alaska (portions of the Denali rupture and Totschunda fault--see figure), and the Intermountain Seismic Belt (portions of the Wasatch Fault and Yellowstone). These data have been invaluable for studying deformation processes in a complementary mode to the fault zone drilling, geodetic, and seismological observatories of EarthScope.

Reference:
Prentice, C. S., Crosby, C. J., Whitehill, C. S., Arrowsmith, J R., Furlong, K. P., Phillips, D. A., GeoEarthScope LiDAR illuminates northern California's active faults, EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 90, no. 7, p. 55, 2009.

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