Field and LiDAR observations of the Hector Mine California 1999 surface rupture
Abstract:We report new field- and computer-based investigations of the surface rupture of the October 16, 1999 Hector Mine Earthquake. Since May 2012, in cooperation with the United States Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) at Twentynine Palms, CA, our team has been allowed ground and aerial access to the entire surface rupture. We have focused our new field-based research and imagery analysis along the ~10 kilometer-long maximum slip zone (MSZ) which roughly corresponds to the zone of >4 meter dextral horizontal offset. New data include: 1) a 1 km wide aerial LiDAR survey along the entire surface rupture (@ 10 shots/m2, May 2012, www.opentopography.org); 2) terrestrial LiDAR surveys at 5 sites within the MSZ (@ >1000 shots/m2, April 2014); 3) low altitude aerial photography and ground based photography of the entire MSZ; 4) a ground-truthed database of 87 out of the 94 imagery-based offset measurements made within the MSZ; and 5) a database of 50 new field-based offset measurements made within the MSZ by our team on the ground, 31 of which have also been made on the computer (Ladicaoz) with both the 2000 LiDAR data (@ 0.5 m DEM resolution; Chen et al, in review) and 2012 LiDAR data (@ 35 cm DEM resolution; our team).
New results to date include 1) significant variability (> 2 m) in horizontal offsets measured along short distances of the surface rupture (~100 m) within segments of the surface rupture that are localized to a single fault strand; 2) strong dependence of decadal scale fault scarp preservation on local lithology (bedrock vs. alluvial fan vs. fine sediment) and geomorphology (uphill vs. downhill facing scarp); 3) newly observed offset features which were never measured during the post-event field response; 4) newly observed offset features too small to be resolved in airborne LiDAR data (< 1 m); 5) nearly 25% of LiDAR imagery-based measurements that were later ground-truthed were judged by our team to warrant removal from the database due to incorrect feature reconstruction; and 6) significant variability in both accuracy of LiDAR offset measurements (relative to field-based measurements) and reported uncertainty between workers, mostly based on differing interpretations of geomorphic complexity.