Terrestrial-LIDAR Visualization of Surface and Structural Deformations of the 2004 Niigata Ken Chuetsu, Japan Earthquake
Following the 23 October 2004 Niigata Ken Chuetsu, Japan, Mw 6.6 earthquake, LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology was used to create ultra high-resolution three-dimensional digital terrain models of the earthquake damage. Two reconnaissance teams traveled with tripod-mounted LIDAR that allowed for the rapid collection of post-earthquake failure geometries of ground, structures, and lifelines prior to modification by post-disaster recovery efforts and natural processes, with range accuracies of approximately 2.5 cm and targets illuminated up to 400–700 m from the sensor. LIDAR offers several benefits: (1) detailed failure morphologies of damaged ground and structures, measured remotely and in a way not feasible by conventional means; (2) exploration and visualization of damage on a computer screen is enabled, in orientations and scales that were previously impossible, providing better definition of the failure surfaces, deformation patterns, and morphologies required for understanding failure modes; and (3) archived ultra-high-resolution data for evaluation of analytical and numerical models of deformation. High-resolution images and movies of LIDAR data can be viewed at http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/geotech/Niigata/ and the online pages of Earthquake Spectra.
R. Kayen, R.T. Pack, J. Bay, S. Sugimoto, H. Tanaka. 2006. Terrestrial-LIDAR visualization of surface and structural deformations of the 2004 Niigata Ken Chuetsu, Japan Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra J., v.22, n.S1, p. S147-S162.