Discontinuity spacing analysis in rock masses using 3D point clouds

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Title: Discontinuity spacing analysis in rock masses using 3D point clouds
Authors: Riquelme, Adrián | Abellán Fernández, Antonio | Tomás, Roberto
Research Group/s: Ingeniería del Terreno y sus Estructuras (InTerEs)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ingeniería Civil
Keywords: Spacing | Discontinuity | 3D point cloud | Rock mass | LiDAR 3D laser scanner
Knowledge Area: Ingeniería del Terreno
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Engineering Geology. 2015, 195: 185-195. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2015.06.009
Abstract: The complete characterization of rock masses implies the acquisition of information of both, the materials which compose the rock mass and the discontinuities which divide the outcrop. Recent advances in the use of remote sensing techniques – such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) – allow the accurate and dense acquisition of 3D information that can be used for the characterization of discontinuities. This work presents a novel methodology which allows the calculation of the normal spacing of persistent and non-persistent discontinuity sets using 3D point cloud datasets considering the three dimensional relationships between clusters. This approach requires that the 3D dataset has been previously classified. This implies that discontinuity sets are previously extracted, every single point is labeled with its corresponding discontinuity set and every exposed planar surface is analytically calculated. Then, for each discontinuity set the method calculates the normal spacing between an exposed plane and its nearest one considering 3D space relationship. This link between planes is obtained calculating for every point its nearest point member of the same discontinuity set, which provides its nearest plane. This allows calculating the normal spacing for every plane. Finally, the normal spacing is calculated as the mean value of all the normal spacings for each discontinuity set. The methodology is validated through three cases of study using synthetic data and 3D laser scanning datasets. The first case illustrates the fundamentals and the performance of the proposed methodology. The second and the third cases of study correspond to two rock slopes for which datasets were acquired using a 3D laser scanner. The second case study has shown that results obtained from the traditional and the proposed approaches are reasonably similar. Nevertheless, a discrepancy between both approaches has been found when the exposed planes members of a discontinuity set were hard to identify and when the planes pairing was difficult to establish during the fieldwork campaign. The third case study also has evidenced that when the number of identified exposed planes is high, the calculated normal spacing using the proposed approach is minor than those using the traditional approach.
Sponsor: This work was partially funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS-138015 and FNS-144040 Projects), the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and EU FEDER under Projects TEC2011-28201-C02-02 and TIN2014-55413-C2-2-P, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in the framework of the Programa Estatal de Promocin del Talento y su Empleabilidad en I + D + i under project PRX14/00100 and by the Generalitat Valenciana under Project ACOMP/2014/136.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/47912
ISSN: 0013-7952 (Print) | 1872-6917 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2015.06.009
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2015.06.009
Appears in Collections:INV - INTERES - Artículos de Revistas

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