Verification of a 3-D LiDAR Viewer for Discontinuity Orientations


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.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Discontinuities; LiDAR; Orientations; Viewer; Light Detection And Ranging; Manual Measurements; Slope Stability Analysis; Three-Point Methods; United States Of America; Weathering; Optical Radar; Algorithm; Discontinuity; Canada; United States

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2013 Springer Wien, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2013