UNM professor creates technology to help predict landslides

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Predicting a natural disaster before it happens is the goal of a University of New Mexico professor. He wants to stop landslides that follow wildfires.

“Prevent things like The Dixon Apple Orchard, Cochiti Pueblo, and the Bandelier National Monument type stuff,” said Associate Professor at UNM Christopher Lippitt.

Lippitt is working on a project that could help put a stop to fast floods after a big wildfire.

“We can fly over an area and we can reconstruct in very high detail what the three dimensional surface actually looks like,” said Lippitt.

With special technology on planes, Lippitt said he and his team produce images which can then tell emergency crews if a landslide is likely after a fire.

Lippitt said all they have to do is fly over the area right after a major fire and then fly over again later to see how the land has changed.

“If we can go back and do that again then we can actually tell where soil is being lost,” said Lippitt.

From there, he said crews can go in and work the land that could produce potential landslides.

“So this is really all about understanding what the potential for erosion is and doing something about it before it happens,” said Lippitt.

Lippitt said the technology is being developed and tested in the state. The goal is to make it available all over.

“This is a very practical approach of very new technology that can actually save a lot of property and potentially lives,” said Lippitt.

KRQE.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s