Collaborative Research: RAPID: Airborne Lidar Scan of the 4 April 2010 Sierra El Mayor, Baja California Earthquake Rupture

Project: Research project

Project Details


The 4 April 2010 Baja California earthquake is the largest event to occur in the California plate boundary zone since the 1992 Landers (M7.3) and 1999 Hector Mine (M7.1) earthquakes. This proposal seeks RAPID funding to support the acquisition, processing, and dissemination of an airborne lidar survey of the 4 April ground rupture. In order to capture the best possible preservation of the ground rupture, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive airborne lidar survey as soon as possible. These data, along with embedded ground-based lidar scans, will be made immediately and freely available to the research community. In order to disseminate the lidar data set and promote knowledge of how to work with it, we will reach out to the earthquake research community by composing an article for a news-style earth science journal such as EOS to describe the new data and highlight their applications. We will also hold a meeting with members of the Mexico-based geology field team to initiate collaborative research activities with the lidar data as soon as it is released, and we will develop a workshop, coordinated with the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), specifically geared towards helping students make full use of this data set. Intellectual Merit This proposal is motivated by the following: 1) This is a tremendous opportunity to use lidar to advance our understanding of ground ruptures produced by earthquakes, including embedded ground-based surveys and comparison with pre-event lidar. 2) Detailed assessment of this earthquake will advance understanding of how complex M7+ events accommodate diffuse continental plate-boundary deformation. 3) The Sierra El Mayor earthquake challenges our current understanding of earthquake source physics because it ruptured very close and parallel to a fault that produced a similar-sized earthquake in 1892. Broader Impacts The response to this earthquake enhances international collaboration and education opportunities. Close collaboration with scientists in Mexico has been central to the response to the Sierra El Mayor earthquake. All data-gathering and dissemination activities will emphasize students from both the United States and Mexico. Openly available lidar data collected from the ground rupture will provide new opportunities for Mexican scientists and students to work with this imagery data, strengthening new collaborative relationships with U.S. scientists that have been established as part of the earthquake response. Imaging of the 4 April 2010 earthquake will also advance two major NSF-supported initiatives: MARGINS and Earthscope. This project brings together several NSF facilities: OpenTopography, Interface, and SCEC. Expertise and software developed from the UC Davis KeckCAVES project will also be integrated with this effort.0 width
Effective start/end date5/15/104/30/12


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $112,381.00


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