, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 821–831 | Cite as

Use of targets to track 3D displacements in highly vegetated areas affected by landslides

  • Martin Franz
  • Dario Carrea
  • Antonio Abellán
  • Marc-Henri Derron
  • Michel Jaboyedoff
Technical Note


Monitoring landslides with terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is currently a well-known technique. One problem often encountered is the vegetation that produces shadow areas on the scans. Indeed, the points behind a given obstacle are hidden and thus occluded on the point cloud. Thereby, locations monitored with terrestrial laser scanner are mostly rock instabilities and few vegetated landslides, being difficult or even impossible to survey vegetated slopes using this method with its classical non-full wave form. The Peney landslide (Geneva, Switzerland) is partially vegetated by bushes and trees, and in order to monitor its displacements during the drawdown of the Verbois reservoir located at its base, an alternative solution has been found. We combined LiDAR technique with 14 targets made of polystyrene placed at different locations inside and outside the landslide area. The obtained displacements were compared with classical measurement methods (total station and extensometer), showing good resemblance of results, indicating that the use of targets in highly vegetated areas could be an efficient alternative for mass movements monitoring.


Landslide Monitoring Target tracking Vegetated areas Drawdown 3D point clouds LiDAR 



This research was supported by the Swiss National Research Foundation under project FNS-1440404 untitled “Characterizing and analysing 3D temporal slope evolution” and by the Services Industriel de Genève (SIG) under the project entitled “Suivi du Glissement de Peney lors de la vidange 2012 de la retenue de Verbois - Monitoring expérimental à l’aide d’un scanner laser terrestre”. The authors are thankful to Dr. Pierre Tullen from CSD INGENIEURS SA who provided us the extensometers data and HEIMBERG & CIE SA for providing us the total station data. The two anonymous reviewers are acknowledged for their valuable comments that helped us to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Franz
    • 1
  • Dario Carrea
    • 1
  • Antonio Abellán
    • 1
  • Marc-Henri Derron
    • 1
  • Michel Jaboyedoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Risk Analysis Group, Institute of Earth Sciences (ISTE), Faculty of Geosciences and EnvironmentUniversity of Lausanne1015 LausanneSwitzerland

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