Another powerful geologic force shaping the landscape of the Blue Mountains is landslides. Peter finds that bringing LiDAR data into Surfer is an incredibly effective method to identify and visualize the sites of ancient landslides. Since the valleys of the Blue Mountains are so densely covered in vegetation it isn’t always easy to find the clues that would tip a geologist off that the landscape was formed by landslides. However, with LiDAR data you can see through the dense eucalyptus forest and create an image of the true ground surface.
Once that LiDAR data is processed in Surfer, these ancient landslide landforms are finally revealed as an impressive 3D model. Providing evidence that together with knickzone erosion, landslides are a major erosional element in the formation of the huge cliff-rimmed valleys. While landslides were not a frequent occurrence over the millennia that this landscape has formed, it is clear landslides have made an important contribution to the erosional processes.
Peter feels that due to the clarity Surfer provides by creating such crisp visualizations he can write with confidence. Diving into great detail on how geologic features such as knickpoints and relict landslides are key factors in revealing the history of this landscape thousands of outdoor enthusiasts enjoy every year. From mineral exploration, to now creating visually striking maps for a broader audience, Surfer has always been a tool Peter can rely on to tell his story.
As of June 2022 Peter’s book “The Blue Mountains: exploring landscapes shaped by the underlying rocks, uplift and erosion ” has been released! The guide book delves into much greater detail on the geology, ecology, and history of this incredible natural area. We would like to thank Peter for taking the time to speak with us and also mention his co-author Ian Brown. Ian is an Ecologist and Photographer whose work is featured in the guidebook as well. If you would like to purchase the guide book and view more of Ian’s photography follow the link below!
The Blue Mountains: exploring landscapes shaped by the underlying rocks, uplift and erosion