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Surface slip rate of the Imperial Fault estimated from remote controlled quadcopter photogrammetry

John DeSanto, & David T. Sandwell

Published August 8, 2016, SCEC Contribution #6558, 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #134

In recent years, advances in photogrammetry have allowed remote controlled quadcopters to emerge as a useful tool for remote geological surveying. These tools allow pilots to collect photographic data of difficult to reach outcrops and create a three-dimensional model for easy interpretation. However, the geodetic applications of this technique are limited by the poor accuracy of the quadcopter GPS, which introduces distortions into generated 3D models. To minimize such distortions, we couple quadcopter imagery with independent campaign GPS measurements, which serve as ground truths. In 2016 we conducted a campaign-style GPS Survey along the Imperial Fault, occupying monuments adjacent to an intersection between the fault trace and a concrete canal along which surface fault displacement is readily visible. We conducted a concurrent quadcopter survey of these monuments, collecting photographic images of the canal as it crosses the fault trace. We process these images using the Agisoft Photoscan Pro software to create a three dimensional model of the canal. From this model, we measure a displacement in the canal of 88-102 cm. Comparing this displacement estimate to historical measurements made following the October 15, 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake yields a surface slip rate of 7-11 mm/yr, consistent with accepted values.

Key Words
geodesy, GPS, Imperial Fault

DeSanto, J., & Sandwell, D. T. (2016, 08). Surface slip rate of the Imperial Fault estimated from remote controlled quadcopter photogrammetry . Poster Presentation at 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Tectonic Geodesy