LiDAR-Assisted identification of an active fault near Truckee, California

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 

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Abstract

We use high-resolution (1.5-2.4 points/m2) bare-earth airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) imagery to identify, map, constrain, and visualize fault-related geomorphology in densely vegetated terrain surrounding Martis Creek Dam near Truckee, California. Bare-earth LiDAR imagery reveals a previously unrecognized and apparently youthful right-lateral strike-slip fault that exhibits laterally continuous tectonic geomorphic features over a 35-km-long zone. If these interpretations are correct, the fault, herein named the Polaris fault, may represent a significant seismic hazard to the greater Truckee-Lake Tahoe and Reno-Carson City regions. Three-dimensional modeling of an offset late Quaternary terrace riser indicates a minimum tectonic slip rate of 0.4 ?? 0.1 mm/yr.Mapped fault patterns are fairly typical of regional patterns elsewhere in the northern Walker Lane and are in strong coherence with moderate magnitude historical seismicity of the immediate area, as well as the current regional stress regime. Based on a range of surface-rupture lengths and depths to the base of the seismogenic zone, we estimate a maximum earthquake magnitude (M) for the Polaris fault to be between 6.4 and 6.9.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title LiDAR-Assisted identification of an active fault near Truckee, California
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120090261
Volume 101
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
First page 1162
Last page 1181
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