The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 119 [Completed (IDEA)]

Three-Dimensional Digital Imaging for the Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Unstable Highway Slopes
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project developed and field tested a software based on 3-D laser scan surveys (LIDAR) for the identification, evaluation, and management of unstable highway slopes. Work in the first stage focused on software development and conducting field case studies. Several sites were identified for field testing of the software, and LIDAR scans were conducted at locations where rock fall was likely to occur. The most important field site was a site chosen along Interstate 70 near Georgetown, Colorado where fatalities due to rockfall are known to occur. Work in the second stage involved further software improvement and the incorporation of major features to the Split-FX program, including photo draping and the ability to extract fracture orientations from the 3-D photos, a change detection algorithm to detect and analyze the size and volume of rockfall, and a built-in rockfall hazard rating system to quickly and accurately evaluate rockfall and slope stability hazards. The most recent work on this project involved rescanning of the Georgetown and Utah sites to determine rockfall locations and volumes and the rockfall rating using the newly developed software.  Also, a “rolling rock” field test was conducted on Mount Lemmon, Arizona to determine the smallest rockfall that could be detected and the overall accuracy and usefulness of the rockfall detection software. The product of this project was further evaluated for implementation in a pooled-fund study supported by FHWA and 8 state highway agencies.   The final report will be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2010-101386).

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