Displacement fields from point cloud data: Application of particle imaging velocimetry to landslide geodesy

Journal of Geophysical Research F: Earth Surface
By: , and 



Acquiring spatially continuous ground-surface displacement fields from Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) will allow better understanding of the physical processes governing landslide motion at detailed spatial and temporal scales. Problems arise, however, when estimating continuous displacement fields from TLS point-clouds because reflecting points from sequential scans of moving ground are not defined uniquely, thus repeat TLS surveys typically do not track individual reflectors. Here, we implemented the cross-correlation-based Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) method to derive a surface deformation field using TLS point-cloud data. We estimated associated errors using the shape of the cross-correlation function and tested the method's performance with synthetic displacements applied to a TLS point cloud. We applied the method to the toe of the episodically active Cleveland Corral Landslide in northern California using TLS data acquired in June 2005–January 2007 and January–May 2010. Estimated displacements ranged from decimeters to several meters and they agreed well with independent measurements at better than 9% root mean squared (RMS) error. For each of the time periods, the method provided a smooth, nearly continuous displacement field that coincides with independently mapped boundaries of the slide and permits further kinematic and mechanical inference. For the 2010 data set, for instance, the PIV-derived displacement field identified a diffuse zone of displacement that preceded by over a month the development of a new lateral shear zone. Additionally, the upslope and downslope displacement gradients delineated by the dense PIV field elucidated the non-rigid behavior of the slide.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Displacement fields from point cloud data: Application of particle imaging velocimetry to landslide geodesy
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research F: Earth Surface
DOI 10.1029/2011JF002161
Volume 117
Issue F1
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program, Volcano Science Center
Description F01029; 15 p.
First page 1
Last page 15
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Sierra Nevada Mountains
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