Evaluation of Tectonic Activities Using LiDAR Topographic Data: The Nankan Lineament in Northern Taiwan


The Nankan lineament and the Shanchiao normal fault are two major "structures" at the western and eastern boundaries of the Linkou Tableland. In contrast to the Shanchiao fault, the tectonic causes of the Nankan lineament have been studied and yet the results are rather inconsistent and controversial. The morphologic evolution is often the result of tectonic processes which can be regarded as the key information for revealing tectonic activity. This study takes advantage of high-resolution LiDAR images to re-examine the causes and tectonic activities of the Nankan lineament based on its morphological features. High-resolution morphological images enable detailed analyses of the major morphologic features of Nankan lineament and adjacent areas. The studied morphological features were analyzed based with several morphotectonic methodologies, including the curve fitting of river profiles, topographic anomaly analysis and a variation of contour density. The results reveal that Nankan lineament does not possess significant geomorphologic signs of recent tectonic activities. Thus, with the new morphological information based on LiDAR images, it seems reasonable to assert that the Nankan lineament has not been tectonically active recently or if so the lineament has healed and is now concealed by the subsequent surface processes.

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