Blog der Fachsektion Ingenieurgeologie

IAEG 2018 in San Fransico

Die nächste IAEG Koferenz findet vom 17- 21 September in San Fransico statt. Weitere Informationen auf der Konferenzseite (

Virtual Outcrop Models and Rock Mass Characterization

A challenge for geologist is efficient data gathering and interpretation in terms of setting up a consistent geological model. One of the most valuable data sources for Geologists to reach this aim are outcrops as the data are available in their spatial and therefore temporal context. Nevertheless, very often outcrops are only temporal or get lost over time. Furthermore, documentation of outcrops reflects always the knowledge level of that time, hampering later reinterpretation.

One solution to overcome these limitations is the development of virtual outcrop models. This means all visual and structural information have to be collected and stored in their spatial context. Suitable 3D software tools are then used to investigate and visualize this data in their spatial context. Over the last years the application of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and more recent the structure from motion technology (SfM) support this approach. While TLS is today a quite common technology for change detection or surface mapping, remote sensing from SfM is a quite new approach, entering Geology with the availability of affordable micro drones for areal photography. While generation of digital surface models (DSM) from both methods is today quite simple, information extraction and knowledge generation is still a challenge.

We apply both technologies to investigate remotely / virtually Rock Mass. Rock mass characteristics are important information for construction as well as for reservoir engineering, e.g. to predict rock permeability and mechanics. Therefore, we apply terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) together with photographic mapping to assist analysis and interpretation of structures. Applied remote analysis allows e.g. mapping of geological structures, surface characteristics, mapping of joint sets as well as identification of spacing and trace length of discontinuities. 3D projection of large joint and faults allows tracing them through space and investigating their extension and relevance. The major advantages of this procedure are a detailed multiple-layered thematic 3D maps which provided a substantial improvement of data, knowledge representation and documentation. Furthermore, synergetic effects due to multiple usage of acquired data.

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