Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 293–310, 2017

Special issue: 4-D reconstruction of earth surface processes: multi-temporal...

Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 293–310, 2017

Research article 24 May 2017

Research article | 24 May 2017

Automated terrestrial laser scanning with near-real-time change detection – monitoring of the Séchilienne landslide

Ryan A. Kromer1,2, Antonio Abellán1,2,3, D. Jean Hutchinson2, Matt Lato2,5, Marie-Aurelie Chanut4, Laurent Dubois4, and Michel Jaboyedoff1 Ryan A. Kromer et al.
  • 1Risk Analysis Group, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2Geomechanics Group, Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 4Groupe Risque Rocheux et Mouvements de Sols (RRMS), Cerema Centre-Est, France
  • 5BGC Engineering, Ottawa, Canada

Abstract. We present an automated terrestrial laser scanning (ATLS) system with automatic near-real-time change detection processing. The ATLS system was tested on the Séchilienne landslide in France for a 6-week period with data collected at 30 min intervals. The purpose of developing the system was to fill the gap of high-temporal-resolution TLS monitoring studies of earth surface processes and to offer a cost-effective, light, portable alternative to ground-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (GB-InSAR) deformation monitoring. During the study, we detected the flux of talus, displacement of the landslide and pre-failure deformation of discrete rockfall events. Additionally, we found the ATLS system to be an effective tool in monitoring landslide and rockfall processes despite missing points due to poor atmospheric conditions or rainfall. Furthermore, such a system has the potential to help us better understand a wide variety of slope processes at high levels of temporal detail.

Short summary
We developed and tested an automated terrestrial laser scanning (ATLS) system with near-real-time change detection at the Séchilienne landslide. We monitored the landslide for a 6-week period collecting a point cloud every 30 min. We detected various slope processes including movement of scree material, pre-failure deformation of discrete rockfall events and deformation of the main landslide body. This system allows the study of slope processes a high level of temporal detail.