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Quantifying fault-zone activity in arid environments with high-resolution topography

Michael E. Oskin, Kimberly D. Blisniuk, & Michael D. Strane

Published November 2007, SCEC Contribution #1096

High-resolution airborne laser swath-mapping (ALSM) topography illuminates active faulting with unprecedented clarity. We contrast ALSM topography of two dextral faults in arid regions of California with slip rates that differ by an order of magnitude: The Lenwood fault, with rate of ∼1 mm/yr, and the Clark fault, a strand of the San Jacinto fault with net slip rate >10 mm/yr. Visualization of ALSM data reveals abundant fault scarps and deflected channels that when reconstructed can yield powerful slip constraints. Though many of these features may also be detected in existing aerial photography, these data are limited by stereo depth resolution and fixed illumination angle.

Oskin, M. E., Blisniuk, K. D., & Strane, M. D. (2007). Quantifying fault-zone activity in arid environments with high-resolution topography. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L23S05. doi: 10.1029/2007GL031295.