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Identifying buried segments of active faults in the northern Rio Grande Rift using aeromagnetic, LiDAR,and gravity data, south-central Colorado, USA

March 4, 2013

Combined interpretation of aeromagnetic and LiDAR data builds on the strength of the aeromagnetic method to locate normal faults with significant offset under cover and the strength of LiDAR interpretation to identify the age and sense of motion of faults. Each data set helps resolve ambiguities in interpreting the other. In addition, gravity data can be used to infer the sense of motion for totally buried faults inferred solely from aeromagnetic data. Combined interpretation to identify active faults at the northern end of the San Luis Basin of the northern Rio Grande rift has confirmed general aspects of previous geologic mapping but has also provided significant improvements. The interpretation revises and extends mapped fault traces, confirms tectonic versus fluvial origins of steep stream banks, and gains additional information on the nature of active and potentially active partially and totally buried faults. Detailed morphology of surfaces mapped from the LiDAR data helps constrain ages of the faults that displace the deposits. The aeromagnetic data provide additional information about their extents in between discontinuous scarps and suggest that several totally buried, potentially active faults are present on both sides of the valley.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Identifying buried segments of active faults in the northern Rio Grande Rift using aeromagnetic, LiDAR,and gravity data, south-central Colorado, USA
DOI 10.1155/2013/804216
Authors V.J.S. Grauch, Chester A. Ruleman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title International Journal of Geophysics
Index ID 70174289
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center