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Title: Application of airborne LiDAR to mapping seismogenic faults in forested mountainous terrain, southeastern Alps, Slovenia
Authors: Cunningham, D.
Grebby, S.
Tansey, Kevin
Gosar, A.
Kastelic, V.
First Published: 2006
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Citation: Geophysical Research Letters, 2006, 33, art. no. L20308
Abstract: Results are presented of the first airborne LiDAR survey ever flown in Europe for the purpose of mapping the surface expression of earthquake-prone faults. Detailed topographic images derived from LiDAR data of the Idrija and Ravne strike-slip faults in NW Slovenia reveal geomorphological and structural features that shed light on the overall architecture and kinematic history of both fault systems. The 1998 MW = 5.6, and 2004 MW = 5.2 Ravne Fault earthquakes and the historically devastating 1511 M = 6.8 Idrija earthquake indicate that both systems pose a serious seismic hazard in the region. Because both fault systems occur within forested terrain, a tree removal algorithm was applied to the data; the resulting images reveal surface scarps and tectonic landforms in unprecedented detail. Importantly, two sites were discovered to be potentially suitable for fault trenching and palaeo-seismological analysis. This study highlights the potential contribution of LiDAR surveying in both low-relief valley terrain and high-relief mountainous terrain to a regional seismic hazard assessment programme. Geoscientists working in other tectonically active regions of the world where earthquake-prone faults are obscured by forest cover would also benefit from LiDAR maps that have been processed to remove the canopy return and reveal the forest floor topography.
DOI Link: 10.1029/2006GL027014
ISSN: 0094-8276
Version: Publisher version
Status: Peer reviewed
Type: Article
Rights: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2006 American Geophysical Union. Deposited with reference to the publisher's archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. Dickson Cunningham, Stephen Grebby, Kevin Tansey, Andrej Gosar, Vanja Kastelic (2006), Application of airborne LiDAR to mapping seismogenic faults in forested mountainous terrain, southeastern Alps, Slovenia, Geophysical Research Letters, 2006, 33, art. no. L20308, 10.1029/2006GL027014. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geography

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