Three-dimensional rockfall shape back analysis: methods and implications

Bonneau, David A.; Hutchinson, D. Jean; DiFrancesco, Paul-Mark; Coombs, Melanie; Sala, Zac

Rockfall is a complex natural process that can present risks to the effective operation of infrastructure in mountainous terrain. Remote sensing tools and techniques are rapidly becoming the state of the practice in the characterization, monitoring and management of these geohazards. The aim of this study is to address the methods and implications of how the dimensions of three-dimensional rockfall objects, derived from sequential terrestrial laser scans (TLSs), are measured. Previous approaches are reviewed, and two new methods are introduced in an attempt to standardize the process. The approaches are applied to a set of synthetic rockfall objects generated in the open-source software package Blender. Fifty rockfall events derived from sequential TLS monitoring in the White Canyon, British Columbia, Canada, are used to demonstrate the application of the proposed algorithms. This study illustrates that the method used to calculate the rockfall dimensions has a significant impact on how the shape of a rockfall object is classified. This has implications for rockfall modelling as the block shape is known to influence rockfall runout.



Bonneau, David A. / Hutchinson, D. Jean / DiFrancesco, Paul-Mark / et al: Three-dimensional rockfall shape back analysis: methods and implications. 2019. Copernicus Publications.


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