A detailed aerial survey of the 35-km-long, 6.9 magnitude Borah Peak earthquake rupture that occurred in 1983 is being conducted by USGS scientists from the Geologic Hazards Science Center (GHSC) in Golden, Colorado, in collaboration with researchers from the USGS Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office, the Colorado School of Mines, and Utah Valley University. Photographs collected from a tethered balloon and a UAS system during the project will be processed to derive a high-resolution (~5 cm), three-dimensional model of the Borah Peak rupture.
The hazard posed by earthquakes is strongly related to the geologic slip rate of active faults. To determine slip rates, geologists use high-resolution digital elevation maps (DEMs) to reconstruct landforms offset by meters to hundreds of meters by active faults. Scientists at the Earthquake Science Center in Pasadena, California, are working to improve methods for obtaining low-cost but high-resolution DEMs using structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry. SfM software utilizes a set of overlapping photographs to determine the relative camera position and orientation of each photo viewp