HX Dam Breach Identification, Safford, Arizona

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leveraged multi-scale imagery to document and measure the impacts of the HX Dam failure in 2014. It is suspected that a 5.2 magnitude earthquake compromised the dam structure on June 28, 2014.  In March 2015, the BLM National Operations Center (NOC) partnered with the BLM Arizona State Office and the Safford Field Office to collect high-resolution stereo imagery and derived data products using small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Multi-date, pan-sharpened Landsat 8 imagery was processed and analyzed to help identify the likely date of the dam breach. Pre- and post-breach high-resolution WorldView-2 commercial satellite imagery was pan-sharpened and leveraged to identify structural impacts and environmental effects following the dam failure. Products derived to support this project include high-resolution digital surface models, orthophotography, and elevation contours. This project demonstrated the value and importance of multi-scale imagery for resource monitoring and management.

WorldView-2 high-resolution multispectral imagery collected before (left) and after (right) the HX Dam failure. The red arrow identifies the dam breach. North is oriented toward the top of the image.

WorldView-2 high-resolution multispectral imagery collected before (left) and after (right) the HX Dam failure. The red arrow identifies the dam breach. North is oriented toward the top of the image.

Platform
Author Name
Lance Brady
Author Email
lrbrady@blm.gov