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Airborne Lidar and Electro-Optical Imagery along Surface Ruptures of the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence, Southern California

Hudnut, Kenneth W. and Brooks, Benjamin A. and Scharer, Katherine and Hernandez, Janis L. and Dawson, Timothy E. and Oskin, Michael E. and Arrowsmith, J. Ramon and Goulet, Christine A. and Blake, Kelly and Boggs, Matthew L. and Bork, Stephan and Glennie, Craig L. and Fernandez-Diaz, Juan Carlos and Singhania, Abhinav and Hauser, Darren and Sorhus, Sven (2020) Airborne Lidar and Electro-Optical Imagery along Surface Ruptures of the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence, Southern California. Seismological Research Letters, 91 (4). pp. 2096-2107. ISSN 0895-0695. doi:10.1785/0220190338.

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Surface rupture from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, initially associated with the M_w 6.4 foreshock, occurred on 4 July on a ∼17  km long, northeast–southwest‐oriented, left‐lateral zone of faulting. Following the M_w 7.1 mainshock on 5 July (local time), extensive northwest–southeast‐oriented, right‐lateral faulting was then also mapped along a ∼50  km long zone of faults, including subparallel splays in several areas. The largest slip was observed in the epicentral area and crossing the dry lakebed of China Lake to the southeast. Surface fault rupture mapping by a large team, reported elsewhere, was used to guide the airborne data acquisition reported here. Rapid rupture mapping allowed for accurate and efficient flight line planning for the high‐resolution light detection and ranging (lidar) and aerial photography. Flight line planning trade‐offs were considered to allocate the medium (25 pulses per square meter [ppsm]) and high‐resolution (80 ppsm) lidar data collection polygons. The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping acquired the airborne imagery with a Titan multispectral lidar system and Digital Modular Aerial Camera (DiMAC) aerial digital camera, and U.S. Geological Survey acquired Global Positioning System ground control data. This effort required extensive coordination with the Navy as much of the airborne data acquisition occurred within their restricted airspace at the China Lake ranges.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hudnut, Kenneth W.0000-0002-3168-4797
Scharer, Katherine0000-0003-2811-2496
Hernandez, Janis L.0000-0001-8603-5500
Oskin, Michael E.0000-0002-6631-5326
Arrowsmith, J. Ramon0000-0003-1756-3697
Goulet, Christine A.0000-0002-7643-357X
Glennie, Craig L.0000-0003-1570-0889
Fernandez-Diaz, Juan Carlos0000-0003-3703-7555
Additional Information:© 2020 Seismological Society of America. Manuscript received 28 October 2019; Published online 22 April 2020. The coauthors thank the U.S. Geological Survey and National Science Foundation (NSF) for providing the funding to National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) for this project and the authors especially also thank our pilots Robert Chalender and Greg McDonald and the aircraft vendor. Misty Ellingson and Andria Bullock, with support of Ole Hendon of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) provided them with airspace access within the NAWSCL. The authors also benefitted greatly from the generosity of the Inyokern airport manager, Scott Seymour, and his staff who helped to locate parts and facilitate repair of the aircraft in their hangar. Mayor Peggy Breeden and Chief of Police Jed McLaughlin of the City of Ridgecrest opened their arms to our whole team while the authors worked in their city. Margo Allen, Helen Haase, Jeff Mayberry, Rob Gallagher, and Renee Hatcher, the team of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and NAWCWD Public Affairs Officers, tirelessly provided operational security review support to our whole team, as did the entire unexploded ordnance team. LT Angela Roush, U.S. Navy, and the R‐2508 Joshua airspace controllers are also greatly thanked, as are California Highway Patrol and National Guard for helicopter support for the field work that allowed our flight line planning. The effective reconnaissance and geodata response resulted from several years of conference calls, e‐mails, meetings, exercises, and planning. It took advanced planning, strategic thought, and coordination with other agencies. The important coordination role of the California Air Coordination Group, led by Derek Kantar of Caltrans, and of the California Earthquake Clearinghouse, co‐led by Anne Rosinski and recently by Cindy Pridmore who co‐led it, along with Heidi Tremayne, Maggie Ortiz‐Millan, and others from Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, during the 2019 Ridgecrest sequence, and of its Overflight committee in particular, cannot be overstated. In addition, U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Aircraft Services had established memoranda of understanding so that U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel were able to safely conduct multiple aerial reconnaissance and geodata missions. Thanks to the NCALM processing team and the OpenTopography team for making these data available rapidly. Many thanks to the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) headquarters who helped support the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) award from the U.S. NSF. OpenTopography is supported by the U.S. NSF under Award Numbers 1833703, 1833643, and 1833632. Important Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data from stations CCCC, P594, and P595 were provided by the Geodetic Facility for the Advancement of GEoscience (GAGE), operated by UNAVCO, Inc., with support from the NSF and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under NSF Cooperative Agreement EAR‐1724794. The authors also thank the reviewers of this article, Andrew Meigs, James Hollingsworth, Beth Haddon, and Dan Opstal for improving the article. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Data and Resources: The data will all be made available at the following OpenTopography URL: Hudnut, K. W., B. Brooks, K. Scharer, J. L. Hernandez, T. E. Dawson, M. E. Oskin, R. Arrowsmith, C. A. Goulet, K. Blake, M. L. Boggs, S. Bork, C. L. Glennie, J. C. Fernandez‐Diaz, A. Singhania, D. Hauser, S. Sorhus (2020). 2019 Ridgecrest, CA postearthquake light detection and ranging (lidar) collection, National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), distributed by OpenTopography, available at doi: 10.5069/G97W69C0, 10.5069/G9W0942Z. Additional portions of the data set will be released pending additional review. Additional raw files may be accessed from the NCALM long‐term archive, contact; further information available at Capture one image processing software is available at The B4 lidar data are available in,, and Documentation from NCALM is available at http://ncalm.cive.uh. For further information on Online Positioning User Service (OPUS), see and for more information on the CORS network, see GrafNet Overview is available at Current version of TerraScan v.19.019 is available at A detailed discussion on the causes of data artifacts is available at and a discussion of NCALM procedures is available at LASer (LAS) format description is available at American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and LAS formats are available at All websites were last accessed in March 2020.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200506-130633278
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Official Citation:Kenneth W. Hudnut, Benjamin A. Brooks, Katherine Scharer, Janis L. Hernandez, Timothy E. Dawson, Michael E. Oskin, J. Ramon Arrowsmith, Christine A. Goulet, Kelly Blake, Matthew L. Boggs, Stephan Bork, Craig L. Glennie, Juan Carlos Fernandez‐Diaz, Abhinav Singhania, Darren Hauser, Sven Sorhus; Airborne Lidar and Electro‐Optical Imagery along Surface Ruptures of the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence, Southern California. Seismological Research Letters ; 91 (4): 2096–2107. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103039
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 May 2020 20:41
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:17

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