High Resolution Photographs of the San Andreas Fault

August 23, 2011


Photographer: David K. Lynch; Dave's Web site
Summary Author: David K. Lynch

As part of a project funded by the Southern California Earthquake Center, David Lynch (USGS), Kenneth Hudnut (USGS), David Dearborn (LLNL) and John Bayless (First Point Scientific Inc.) have made a number of low altitude photographic flights over the San Andreas Fault and parts of the Banning Fault. The goal is to obtain imagery with a spatial resolution of just a few centimeters on the ground; for planning field operations, to document the surface state of the fault before a major earthquake, and to provide many examples of fault landforms for education. The images are sequential and have about 20-60 percent overlap for piecing together and to produce stereo images. All are in JPEG format.
The dataset currently contains 18,286 images covering about 360 mi (579 km) of the fault in several sections. Together, they form a continuous record from the Salton Sea in Imperial County to central California, near California State Highway 198 in Monterey County. All photographs are in the public domain and can be used by anyone for any reason. They can be found and accessed here.