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Virtual reality shot of a mountainous area with a stream and valley

The UC Davis facility features projection screens on three walls that create an immersive, interactive environment. Using the facility, scientists can walk — or fly — into a three-dimensional, virtual representation of a landscape.

Using virtual reality to study earthquakes

Within hours of the Aug. 24, 2014, Napa earthquake, researchers from UC Davis' Department of Earth and Planetary Science were on the ground making measurements of surface ruptures and visible evidence of fault movements.

But geologists no longer have to do all their work in the field or on a map. UC Davis has a unique facility, the W. M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES), which allows researchers to study from earthquakes in virtual reality.

Our 2010 feature, which includes a video fly-through of the Enriquillo Fault, describes how the KeckCAVES was used to study the Haiti and Mexicali earthquakes.

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