Serving professionals in engineering, environmental, and groundwater geology
since 1957

***Wednesday, June 10th***
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Topic: "Practical Applications of Airborne LiDAR Data for Environmental and Engineering Geology Projects"

Speaker: Mark P. Molinari, P.G., C.E.G., C.H.G.,
Principal Geologist, URS Corporation, 2008-2009 AEG President

Location: Steven's Steak House
5332 Stevens Place, Commerce, California

Time: 6:00 p.m.-Social Hour; 7:00 p.m.-Dinner, 7:45 p.m.-Presentation

Cost: $30 per person with reservations, $35 without reservations,
$15 with a valid Student ID.

Reservations: Please e-mail Jon Relyea at
or call 800-554-3205

Over the past decade there has been a significant increase in the use of airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data to create detailed topographic base maps and high-resolution (0.2 - 1 m vertical accuracy) digital elevation models (DEMs) for a variety of regional and site-specific projects. If the scope of data acquisition is properly defined and implemented, LiDAR is effective in all types of terrain and vegetation; however it is particularly useful in densely vegetated areas where conventional photogrammetry-based topographic maps and resulting DEMs have a relatively low accuracy. In addition, it is very cost-effective in steep or remote terrain that cannot be easily surveyed by conventional methods. This talk will present a variety of examples where LiDAR was successfully used for environmental and engineering geology projects and the type of derivative products that can be generated using GIS or other computer applications. Primary lessons learned regarding acquisition and QA/QC review of LiDAR data, management of LiDAR vendors, managing large LiDAR data sets and automation of LiDAR data processing will also be summarized.

Example projects include:
  • Use of LiDAR-derived GIS products for 28 separate proposed timber sale areas covering approximately 1,400 square miles in Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska to map and evaluate geologic hazards and watershed hydrology, karst, and potential hydrologic effects of the surging Hubbard Glacier on Russell Fjord, and road reconstruction
  • Active fault and landslide mapping
  • Unexploded ordinance range mapping
  • Structural geologic mapping of an inaccessible rock avalanche
  • Mine tailing and landslide debris volume estimates
  • Levee evaluation
  • Detailed topography for surface water- groundwater interaction for a contaminant plume
  • Floodplain mapping and geomorphic analysis
  • Wetlands hydrology
Mark Molinari is a Principal Engineering Geologist at URS Corporation in Seattle, Washington with 25 years consulting experience assessing geologic and seismic hazards, and performing and managing environmental assessment and remediation projects. He has worked throughout the western U.S., including Alaska, and internationally. He has performed geologic and/or seismic hazard assessments for environmental impact studies, permit applications, and siting and design of onshore and offshore petroleum facilities, power plants, LNG terminals, dams, linear utility corridors, public and commercial facilities, and municipal, hazardous and low-level radioactive waste facilities. His environmental project experience includes due diligence environmental site assessments, hydrogeologic assessments, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) projects, and remedial actions for a wide range of oil & gas, aerospace, and commercial and industrial clients. In addition, he has a RI/FS project for a four square block Brownsfield site for the University of Washington. Mr. Molinari has a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara and MS from University of Nevada-Reno, and is a Licensed Geologist, Hydrogeologist and Engineering Geologist in Washington; a California Professional Geologist and Certified Engineering Geologist, and a Nebraska Professional Geologist. He is the 2008-09 AEG President, and served two years on the AEG board as Washington Section chair and one year on the Governance Committee in addition to his three previous years on the Executive Council.