Using LIDAR remote sensing (light detection and ranging) geoscientists made a detailed scan of an earthquake zone in northern Mexico and compared it with a survey taken before the 2010 Sierra El Mayor Earthquake. They found that the quake did not occur on a major fault, but through a series of small faults that came together.
Here is a 3D visualisation of the earthquake zone mapped by researchers.
LIDAR works by bouncing a series of laser pulses off the ground from airplanes or satellites. Airborne LIDAR scans revealed deformation around the system of faults that caused the quake, which are difficult to detect in the field. LIDAR is often used in atmospheric research meteorology, but has a variety of other applications as well from agriculture to physics.
Lasers reveal hidden earthquake damage. Futurity