The British Virgin Islands is set to benefit from a
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey scheduled to be conducted on
Saturday, January 18.
The LiDAR survey which will be conducted via aircraft
flyover of Anegada, will provide updated topographic data of the island.
Although the aircraft will make multiple passes over the BVI, it will not
actually land in the Territory.
LiDAR technology includes a laser, scanner and
specialised GPS receiver and uses light bouncing off the terrain to create
three-dimensional models, similar to how radars use radio waves to determine,
range, altitude, direction and speed.
The LiDAR survey is being facilitated by
Geological Survey (USGS) which is working in conjunction with the Puget Sound
LiDAR Consortium and contractor for the project, Quantum Spatial.
The USGS has been engaged in research work on Anegada
over the past few years to gather geological evidence of tsunami events and to
determine whether some of the large boulders on the island are as a result of
tsunami events. They are also studying how
the terrain has evolved over the years and their work has been supported by the
Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and the Department of Disaster Management.
The LiDAR would enable USGS scientists to analyse the
data to determine whether there is evidence of previous geologic events.
The Department of Disaster Management
welcomes the LiDAR survey and the prospect for acquiring improved baseline
datasets for the British Virgin Islands. DDM’s Technical Planning Officer, Mr.
Christopher Williams said “the LiDAR data would provide the most up to date
topographic information available for any of the islands. The data can be used
to facilitate more effective disaster management planning and better designs
for development planning.”
A ground technician from Quantum Spatial is already in
the Territory to set up the base
stations for the survey. The flyover is scheduled for Saturday, January 18 but
the actual timing will depend on weather and aviation logistics.
Photo Caption: Scientists from USGS engaged in research on Anegada. (File Photo)