Terrestrial laser scanning for geometry extraction and change monitoring of rubble mound breakwaters
Rubble mound breakwaters are coastal defense structures that protect harbors and beaches from the impacts of both littoral drift and storm waves. They occasionally break, leading to catastrophic damage to surrounding human populations and resulting in huge economic and environmental losses. Ensuring their stability is considered to be of vital importance and the major reason for setting up breakwater monitoring systems. Terrestrial laser scanning has been recognized as a monitoring technique of existing infrastructures. Its capability for measuring large amounts of accurate points in a short period of time is also well proven. In this paper we first introduce a method for the automatic extraction of face geometry of concrete cubic blocks, as typically used in breakwaters. Point clouds are segmented based on their orientation and location. Then we compare corresponding cuboids of three co-registered point clouds to estimate their transformation parameters over time. The first method is demonstrated on scan data from the Baiona breakwater (Spain) while the change detection is demonstrated on repeated scan data of concrete bricks, where the changing scenario was simulated. The application of the presented methodology has verified its effectiveness for outlining the 3D breakwater units and analyzing their changes at the millimeter level. Breakwater management activities could benefit from this initial version of the method in order to improve their productivity.