New Washington lidar data and screensaver images!

New lidar data

The Washington Geological Survey (WGS) has just released new lidar data for several areas in Washington. Since 2016 we have been involved in collecting over 6,400 square miles of lidar and have added many additional lidar datasets from our partners for public use. Lidar is a technology that uses light pulses to collect elevation information.

The main purpose of our new lidar collection is to map landslides for local governments to use in decision-making, as well as to replace low-quality data areas with higher quality data. This lidar will be also be used for a whole host of other mapping applications, including natural hazards, forest growth and health, river habitat and restoration, and urban infrastructure.

New high-quality lidar data (in purple) collected by the Washington Geological Survey since 2016 shown on our Lidar Portal.

The new lidar covers portions of Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom counties. A separate dataset was collected in partnership with King County and several city and local governments.

WGS is also working on several future lidar projects in partnership with federal agencies and local governments. These projects will include portions of Clallam, Columbia, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties.

You can view and download the data on our Lidar Portal.

New lidar in action

See portions of the new lidar in landscape visualizations below:

Current and former channels of the Skagit River between Marblemount and Rockport. Lidar is used to create predictive flood models of rivers and to map river habitat for restoration projects.

An active strand of the Darrington-Devils Mountain fault zone in Skagit County. Lidar highlights otherwise hidden faults in Washington

Video of a detailed lidar point cloud (raw lidar data) of the State Capitol in Olympia.

A massive prehistoric landslide above the North Fork Nooksack River in Whatcom County. Lidar is used by the Washington Geological Survey to accurately map landslides in detail.

A detailed lidar point cloud (raw lidar data) of Seatac Airport in King County.

Video of Tumtum Mountain in Clark County. This young volcanic cone is composed of dacite and is nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades. Lidar is used to more precisely map geology in Washington.

New screensavers

WGS has also released 20 new lidar screensavers of the state’s diverse landscapes.  The screensavers use a variety of lidar data formats (including point clouds) to display intriguing views Washington’s landforms. These images include volcanoes, landslides, faults, and river channels.

Download the screensavers here: Widescreen 16:9 and Standard 4:3

To learn more about lidar and geology in Washington check out our story map, The Bare Earth, and our lidar webpage:

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