A case study integrating remote sensing and distinct element analysis to quarry slope stability assessment in the Monte Altissimo area, Italy
Over last decade geomatic techniques have been increasingly used for the geometrical characterization of rock slopes. Terrestrial laser scanning and digital terrestrial photogrammetry in particular are now frequently used in the characterization of joint surfaces and slope geometry. Although the use of these techniques for the structural characterization of slopes is widely documented, limited research has been undertaken to improve our understanding of the importance of the derived data quality in the construction of slope geometry imported into 3D numerical models. One of the most common problems encountered in the use of these techniques, especially in case of slopes with complex geometry, is the presence of occlusions. In this context, the aims of this paper are to describe how the integrated use of terrestrial laser scanning, digital terrestrial photogrammetry and topographic surveys can mitigate the influence of occlusions and how the slope geometry gained from these surveys can be important in slope stability analyses. For this purpose a case study in the Monte Altissimo area (Apuan Alps, Italy) will be presented. Several geomatic techniques were used for studying a slope overhanging the Granolesa quarry. Special emphasis will be given to the importance of using Total Station and Differential GPS surveys as tools for data fusion. Moreover, in order to validate this procedure, the accuracy and precision of the output were determined through comparison of 3D models derived from laser scanning and digital terrestrial photogrammetry.Furthermore, two different analyses with the three-dimensional distinct element code, 3DEC, were carried out in order to highlight the advantages and limitations of using data obtained from terrestrial remote sensing techniques as opposed to models based on topographic maps.
The authors wish to thank the Tuscany Region which funded this research (Announcement 6744/2008 POR CREO 2007–2013). Moreover, we are extremely grateful to Henraux S.p.A., Prof. Pier Lorenzo Fantozzi (University of Siena), Geol. Sergio Mancini, Geol. Vinicio Lorenzoni and Ing. Matteo Lapini (Ingeo Systems s.r.l.) for their assistance and advices in this research.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2014.09.003. First available online 22 September 2014
Vol. 183, pp. 290 - 302