Damage assessment of the 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami using terrestrial laser scanning

Michael J. Olsen, Kwok Fai Cheung, Yoshiki Yamazaki, Shawn Butcher, Maria Garlock, Solomon Yim, Sara McGarity, Ian Robertson, Luis Burgos, Yin Lu Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In the wake of the 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami, a reconnaissance survey recorded earthquake and tsunami damage using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), which is capable of detecting details that most traditional reconnaissance methods cannot. TLS enables precise measurements of structural deformations and damage (including shear cracking of concrete walls, concrete spalling, and damage of rebars), as well as soil deformations and damage (including erosion, scour, liquefaction, lateral spread, slope failure, and ground displacement). Advanced measurements such as minute structural rotations, spatial distribution of cracks, volumetric and positional change calculations can also be obtained. Herein, we present various types of detailed measurements and analyses using TLS data obtained at several sites that were damaged by the earthquake and/or tsunami in Concepción, Constitución, Dichato, and Talcahuano. Moreover, this high-resolution data has enabled a unique avenue for virtual, post-visit analysis, providing additional insights that were not readily observable during the field visit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S179-S197
JournalEarthquake Spectra
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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