Lidar Technology Uncovers 'Geological Hazards' Below Yellowstone National Park

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Published on November 29, 2023 - Duration: 01:30s

Lidar Technology Uncovers 'Geological Hazards' Below Yellowstone National Park

Lidar Technology , Uncovers 'Geological Hazards' Below , Yellowstone National Park.

CBS reports that new data has revealed "geological hazards" underneath Yellowstone National Park.


A team of scientists used lidar technology to shed light on prehistoric landslides and massive earthquakes that may have permanently impacted the potentially dangerous geologic area.

Advanced geological surface mapping gave geologists the clearest view to date of Paradise Valley and a northern portion of Yellowstone.


Lidar, short for "light detection and ranging," is used to survey large areas of land with a sensor usually mounted on an airplane.

Geologists have an intense interest in the area, as Yellowstone National Park sits atop a known volcanic hotspot.

However, Michael Poland, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says that the chance of a volcanic eruption "is very unlikely in our lifetimes.".

Poland added that studying the area remains crucial due to the likelihood of damaging earthquakes and hydrothermal explosions in the foreseeable future.


Yann Gavillot, a geologist with the Geohazards Program at Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, wrote about the lidar data in a weekly column by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Gavillot said the work could , "significantly improve hazards maps by allowing better characterization of the location, geometry, and activity of known faults and landslides.".

CBS reports that the same technology helped geologists uncover active faults along the edges of Yellowstone in August of 2022

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