Geostructural stability assessment of cave using rock surface discontinuity extracted from terrestrial laser scanning point cloud

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2018, 10 (3), pp. 534 - 544
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© 2018 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences The use of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in the caves has been growing drastically over the last decade. However, TLS application to cave stability assessment has not received much attention of researchers. This study attempted to utilize rock surface orientations obtained from TLS point cloud collected along cave passages to (1) investigate the influence of rock geostructure on cave passage development, and (2) assess cave stability by determining areas susceptible to different failure types. The TLS point cloud was divided into six parts (Entry hall, Chamber, Main hall, Shaft 1, Shaft 2 and Shaft 3), each representing different segments of the cave passages. Furthermore, the surface orientation information was extracted and grouped into surface discontinuity joint sets. The computed global mean and best–fit planes of the entire cave show that the outcrop dips 290° with a major north-south strike. But at individual level, the passages with dip angle between 26° and 80° are featured with dip direction of 75°–322°. Kinematic tests reveal the potential for various failure modes of rock slope. Our findings show that toppling is the dominant failure type accounting for high-risk rockfall in the cave, with probabilities of 75.26%, 43.07% and 24.82% in the Entry hall, Main hall and Shaft 2, respectively. Unlike Shaft 2 characterized by high risk of the three failure types (32.49%, 24.82% and 50%), the chamber and Shaft 3 passages are not suffering from slope failure. The results also show that the characteristics of rock geostructure considerably influence the development of the cave passages, and four sections of the cave are susceptible to different slope failure types, at varying degrees of risk.
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