Extreme climate-related events in the recent past have caused extensive damage along Going-to-the-Sun Road, including Pineapple Express weather patterns and rain-on-snow events that have produced extraordinary volumes of water carrying large and damaging debris. Damage to the Going-to-the-Sun Road pavement and associated road infrastructure (culverts, bridges, retaining walls) has cost millions in emergency repair.
LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method to measure ranges to the earth, generating precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the earth. This project will provide managers and the public with LiDAR-based elevation data to develop tools like flood hazard maps throughout the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor which don’t currently exist.
Flood inundation mapping that is based on high resolution LiDAR elevation data is a powerful planning and response tool to help protect the park’s infrastructure.