We use airborne and satellite imagery to map geological features and processes.
The quantification of landslides and other surface processes following earthquakes or high intensity rainfall is an example of research currently underway. High resolution LiDAR techniques can reveal subtle topographic features such as old fault lines and river channels.
Example: Northland flooding event 2007
These images predate, postdate and follow up a year after the July 2007 Northland flooding event. The intense rainfall caused significant erosion in the hill country (the pale scars in the central image). Some recovery of the scars is seen within a year (right image).
Example: Mt Ruapehu lahar 2007
The collapse of part of the wall damming Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake on 18 March 2007 caused a lahar to spill into the headwaters of the Whangehu River. Satellite imagery highlights the extent of the lahar path, in bright green in the right-hand image, and was used to help quantify the flow and deposition process.