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Acquisition and Publication of 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Lidar for Hurricanes and Wildfires

The goal of 3DEP is to complete by 2023 the first-ever national baseline of consistent high-resolution elevation data to support a range of critical applications including hazards response, recovery, and mitigation.

Tripod with instrumentation sits on wet, sandy beach with gentle ocean waves and small shorebirds in background
Lidar set-up at Capitola State Beach east of Santa Cruz, California, before a big storm.


  • The USGS will collect and process light detection and ranging (lidar) data at priority locations affected by hurricanes (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) and wildfires (California). Additional funding from partner agencies is also being used to complete data coverage of the impacted areas.
  • Lidar data will be used in assessments of landslide and debris flow and coastal impacts, reconstruction of infrastructure (for example, permit applications, construction plan development, and drainage requirements), updating fuel models for wildfire, and other recovery efforts.