"LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
Do you know the earthquake risk in your neighborhood? If not, that information is now available in the palm of your hand. Founded by two former U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees, Temblor is a free app that allows people to view interactive seismic hazard maps on their smartphones, tablets or computers. It also teaches U.S. homeowners to factor earthquake and landslide risk into their financial decisions, like where to live and what insurance to buy. The February issue of EARTH Magazine takes a closer a look at Temblor, highlighting the app's recent successes and goals for the future.
Slow-moving landslides, while not as dramatic as their faster-moving counterparts, can damage infrastructure and cause headaches for the communities they affect. Slow-moving slides are generally associated with rainfall or snowmelt, but a new study in Japan has shown that some of these slides may occur when a certain kind of clay is exposed to cold temperatures. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, the link between ground temperature and slow slides is explored, including implications for the science of predicting similar landslides around the world.