Laser Scanning Systems and Techniques in Rockfall Source Identification and Risk Assessment: A Critical Review

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Journal Article
Earth Systems and Environment, 2018, 2 (2), pp. 163 - 182
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© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature. Rockfall poses risk to people, their properties and to transportation ways in mountainous and hilly regions. This catastrophe shows various characteristics such as vast distribution, sudden occurrence, variable magnitude, strong fatalness and randomicity. Therefore, prediction of rockfall phenomenon both spatially and temporally is a challenging task. Digital Terrain model (DTM) is one of the most significant elements in rockfall source identification and risk assessment. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is the most advanced effective technique to derive high-resolution and accurate DTM. This paper presents a critical overview of rockfall phenomenon (definition, triggering factors, motion modes and modeling) and LiDAR technique in terms of data pre-processing, DTM generation and the factors that can be obtained from this technique for rockfall source identification and risk assessment. It also reviews the existing methods that are utilized for the evaluation of the rockfall trajectories and their characteristics (frequency, velocity, bouncing height and kinetic energy), probability, susceptibility, hazard and risk. Detail consideration is given on quantitative methodologies in addition to the qualitative ones. Various methods are demonstrated with respect to their application scales (local and regional). Additionally, attention is given to the latest improvement, particularly including the consideration of the intensity of the phenomena and the magnitude of the events at chosen sites.
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