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How LiDAR Can Help the Environment

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technology, where the technology is not in direct contact with what it is measuring by using lasers. LiDAR has many different applications in today’s world, from geology, archaeology, geography, manufacturing automation, agriculture and many others. This blog will focus on how LiDAR can help the environment and prepare for natural disasters such as tsunamis.

Deforestation is becoming a more concerning issue in recent years as more forests are being cut down or burned due to forest fires or agriculture. LiDAR technology can be used in preventing and controlling forest fires as it can quantify the forest fire fuel in an area. By having this information beforehand, it can greatly help lessen the damage caused and control the spread of the fire. LiDAR can also be used to measure the qualities of trees in forests and the degradation of the forests through human activities. This is valuable information to organisations who are trying to prevent deforestation, such as Greenpeace, as they can see which forests are being impacted through deforestation and to what extent. LiDAR can help provide scientists with more accurate data on the layout and density of forests by identifying the height of individual trees or a group of trees, and the actual amounts of carbon emission and absorption.

LiDAR can be used to help prepare for natural disasters such as tsunamis, tornados, earthquakes and floods. It can determine and predict future tsunamis and forecast the possibility of an oncoming tsunami. It can even create a model of the potential tsunami to determine how severe it would be. This can help in mitigating the damage that would have been caused by the tsunami and save the lives of many people.

LiDAR technology can also be used to identify areas at risk of earthquakes by revealing faults on the ground surface. They achieve this by equipping LiDAR lasers to airplanes, which are then flown over any regions of interest that could be potentially at risk of earthquakes. LiDAR can also be used for assessing damages caused by earthquakes, and the data collected from this can help with future prevention

LiDAR can also be used to help assess the risk of flooding in certain areas. The UK have already used LiDAR to help with managing their flood risk by mapping out the flood plains in the UK. This allows them to concentrate on the areas that are at a high-risk of flooding first, which can help them to prevent floods or at least lessen the impact of it.

Overall the use of LiDAR technology is a huge benefit for the environment as it can be used in many different ways, and the possibilities are continuing to grow.

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