Terrestrial Scanning / Topography & Monitoring

Marco Pagano et al.: Discontinuity Characterization of Rock Masses through Terrestrial Laser Scanner and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Techniques Aimed at Slope Stability Assessment 24.04.2020

Stabilization projects of rock masses cannot be performed without a proper geomechanical characterization. The classical approaches, due to logistic issues, typically are not able to cover extensively the areas under study. Geo-structural analysis on point cloud from terrestrial laser scanning and photogrammetry from unmanned aerial vehicles are valid tools for analysis of discontinuity systems. Such methodologies provide reliable data even in complex environmental settings (active cliffs) or at inaccessible sites (excavation fronts in tunnels), offering advantages in terms of both safety of the operators and economic and time issues. We present the implementation of these techniques at a tuff cliff over the Santa Caterina beach (Campania) and at the main entrance of Castellana Caves (Apulia). In the first case study, we also perform an integration of the two techniques. Both sites are of significant tourist and economic value, and present instability conditions common to wide areas of southern Italy: namely, retrogressive evolution of active cliffs along the coast, and instability at the rims of natural and/or artificial sinkholes. The results show the reliability of the data obtained through semi-automatic methods to extract the discontinuity sets from the point clouds, and their agreement with data collected in the field through classical approaches. Advantages and drawbacks of the techniques are illustrated and discussed.

The full article was published in the Applied Sciences Journal (2020, 10, 2960), publishing house: MDPI, and can be found here.