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Verification of a 3-D LiDAR Viewer for Discontinuity Orientations

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Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scanners are increasingly being used to measure discontinuity orientations on rock cuts to eliminate the bias and hazards of manual measurements which are also time consuming and somewhat subjective. Typically LiDAR data sets (point clouds) are analyzed by sophisticated algorithms that break down when conditions are not ideal, for example when some of the discontinuities are obscured by vegetation, or when significant portions of the rock face are composed of fractured facets, weathering generated surfaces, or anything that should not be identified as a discontinuity for the purposes of slope stability analysis. This paper presents a simple LiDAR point cloud viewer that allows the user to view the point cloud, identify discontinuities, pick three points on the surface (plane) of each discontinuity, and generate discontinuity orientations using the three-point method. Additionally, a test of our 3-D LiDAR viewer for discontinuity orientations on rock cuts in the United States of America and Canada is presented.

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The authors would like to thank the National Science Foundation for sponsoring this work. This work is supported in part by the NSF CMMI Award #0856420 and #0856206.

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Correspondence to James N. Otoo.

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Otoo, J.N., Maerz, N.H., Li, X. et al. Verification of a 3-D LiDAR Viewer for Discontinuity Orientations. Rock Mech Rock Eng 46, 543–554 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-012-0366-3

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  • Discontinuities
  • Orientations
  • LiDAR
  • Measurement
  • Viewer