Verification of a 3-D LiDAR Point Cloud Viewer for Measuring Discontinuity Orientations


LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) 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, eg. when some of the discontinuities are obscured by vegetation, or when significant portions of the rock face are composed of blast fractures, 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 3 points on the surface (plane) of each discontinuity, and generate discontinuities orientations using the three point method. A test of our 3-D LiDAR viewer for discontinuity orientations on three rock cuts in the Golden Gate Canyon Road area of Colorado is also presented.

Meeting Name

46th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium (2012: Jun. 24-27, Chicago, IL)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Break Down; Golden Gate; LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging); LIDAR Data; Point Cloud; Road Area; Rock Cut; Slope Stability Analysis; Three-Point Methods; Geomechanics; Rock Mechanics; Weathering; Optical Radar

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2012 American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2012