Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Using Digital Imagery: A Bird's-Eye View

by Ellen Rathje, P.E., Ph.D., (F.ASCE), Warren S. Bellows Centennial Professor; Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin,,
Kevin Franke, P.E., Ph.D., (M.ASCE), Assistant Professor; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT,,

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2016, Vol. 20, Issue 6, Pg. 40-44,46

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Over the last decade, remote sensing has played an increasing role in geotechnical earthquake reconnaissance through the use of satellite imagery, LIDAR, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These techniques have been used not only to qualitatively document earthquake effects, but also to acquire quantitative information about damage patterns, digital elevation models of failures, and ground movements. Digital imagery obtained from satellites and UAVs provides a bird's-eye view, and thus offers a holistic perspective of the geotechnical effects of an earthquake at both the regional and site scales. Additionally, digital imagery can be integrated with other data within a geospatial framework, which allows researchers to investigate relationships that could not be evaluated otherwise.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Aircraft and spacecraft | Remote sensing | Aerial photography | Robotics | Damage (structural) | Terrain models | Failure analysis


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