Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


POTTER, Rebecca S., Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, Burchfiel Geography Building, Knoxville, TN 37996,

Identifying and measuring geological structures, such as faults and folds, is of critical importance in better understanding the mechanism of tectonic events and earth processes. Geological structures observed in the trenches and road cuts are often obscured by vegetation, weathering, and/or slope deposits with continuous exposure. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an emerging technology used to detect fine topographical features of a landscape up to centimeter scales. It could also function as a surveying tool, allowing for fast and accurate field measurements. The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility of using a terrestrial LIDAR scanner to identify and quantify fine-scale geological structures in trenches and road cuts. We plan to scan small-scale geologic structures observed in road-cuts. The scanned LIDAR images and point clouds are used to measure the orientation, stress, and strain of the identified small-scale geologic structures. Then, the LIDAR results are compared with the field measurements by experts in structural geology. This study demonstrates the potential of using terrestrial LIDAR to quantify fine-scale geological structures and to establish a digital archive for “virtual field-camp” and additional geological analysis.