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Sharpening our View of Active Faulting with High Resolution Topography

Start Date: March 22, 2017 - 04:15 PM
End Date: March 22, 2017 - 05:15 PM

​​By Prof. Ramon Arrowsmith
Arizona State University, Tempe, USA
Host: Prof. Martin Mai
Venue: Lecture Hall 1 (2322), Engineering and Science Hall (Building 9)

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​Abstract: Earthquake-related displacements of topography and subsequent surface process responses have meters of magnitude typically and occur across fault zones 10s to 1000s of meters wide and as much as 100s of km long. Given these spatial constraints, it is essential to have the right capability to measure the resultant features at the appropriate fine scale. High resolution topography samples the ground surface at least once per square meter and has decimeter local or preferably global accuracy. Analyses of high resolution topography in the study of active faulting can be divided into 4 classes: fault zone mapping, reconstructing surface deformation including offset, investigating geomorphic responses to active deformation, and differencing of repeat surveys for both fault and ground failure characterization.

J Ramón Arrowsmith conducts research in active tectonics, quantitative structural geology and geomorphology. These include paleoseismology, earthquake geology, theoretical studies of faulting and hillslope development, and Quaternary Geology and desert surface processes. Active areas of geographic concentration include the San Andreas Fault system, Arizona, central Asia, Xinjiang China, Baja California, and the Afar region of Ethiopia (for the geologic context of paleoanthropologic studies). He also develops geoinformatics tools for cyberinfrastructure in the geosciences emphasizing high resolution topography derived from LiDAR technology. He works with Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-term Ecological Research Project on aspects of fluvial geomorphology within the urbanized Phoenix region.