Applications of High Resolution Topography to Geologic Hazards in Utah

September 18-19, 2017

University of Utah, Sutton Building, Room 388 (Robert B. Smith Computer Laboratory)

Supported by: Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, the Utah Geological Survey, and the University of Utah, Department of Geology and Geophysics

Christopher Crosby, UNAVCO
Ramon Arrowsmith, Arizona State University
Julia Howe, US Bureau of Reclamation

Emily Kleber & Steve Bowman, Utah Geological Survey

Overview The Utah Geological Survey, with support from the Utah Professional Geologists Licensing Board, is holding the Applications of High Resolution Topographic (Lidar) Data to Geologic Hazards in Utah short course Monday and Tuesday, September 18 and 19, 2017, at the Robert B. Smith Computer Laboratory in the Frederick Albert Sutton Building (FASB) Room 388 on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City. The short course will be valuable to anyone using lidar data, not just in geologic hazard analysis. Limited in-person seats with computers are available, so we also have the remote WebEx option. There is no fee for the course. Day 1 will introduce lidar and other high resolution topographic (HRT) data, along with discussions of data analysis. Day 2 will continue with HRT applications and an individual or small group project in the afternoon. The short course will be valuable for geologists, engineers, students, and others involved in analyzing geologic hazards,

Course Registration

Software we will use includes:

We have put together a reading list that contains a number of relevant papers that you may find helpful to review prior to the course (highest priority is shown in italics).

DRAFT SCHEDULE (subject to change)

MONDAY September 18th



Instructor, Affiliation (Location)

8:30am Welcome, group introductions  

Introductory lectures:

10:00am Break - Two Creeks Coffee (inside Sutton Building)  

Introductory lectures, cont.:

11:30am Exercise: Crosby
12:30pm Lunch  
1:30pm Exercise (continued from pre-lunch session):
  • Introduction to point visualization and processing using LAStools

Break - Two Creeks Coffee (inside Sutton Building)


Raster-based HRT analysis in ArcGIS: Data visualization, mapping, simple topographic differencing, hydrologic analysis

Arrowsmith & Crosby
5:30pm End (Optional group dinner at Porcupine Grill, adjacent to Campus)  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017



Instructor, Affiliation


Topographic profiles and landforms: fault scarps, shorelines, and beyond:

Howe & Arrowsmith
10:30am Break - Two Creeks Coffee (inside Sutton Building)  

Lecture: Topographic Change Detection

Arrowsmith & Crosby
12:30pm Lunch  

Lecture: Introduction to Structure from Motion

Crosby & Arrowsmith

Exploratory Small Projects:

Individually or in groups, identify a small area of interest to perform a simple change detection or other geomorphic analysis. Use what you learned in yesterday afternoon and this morning's exercises, starting with an LAS file to explore and analyze the dataset of your choosing. A few example datasets for change detection are below, or use OpenTopography to find a dataset of interest and to download a point cloud file. By 5 pm, make 3 (max) slides, that summarize: 1) Problem/question, 2) workflow/analysis, 3) result.

Crosby & Arrowsmith 

Project Discussion, Q&A

5:30pm END All