Practical Measurement of Size Distribution of Blasted Rocks Using LiDAR Scan Data


Majority of the world's mine production is made by surface mining facilities for various reasons. Use of explosives is the most economical way in loosening of the main rock where hard rock formations exist. The degree of fragmentation affects the subsequent excavation and loading operations as well as indicates the success of the blasting process. Although the most preferred method for the measurement of fragment size of blasted rock is digital image analysis, the method also includes some limitations and errors. In this study, size distribution of the blasted rock was measured directly using laser scanning-LiDAR technology and a new algorithm. The laser measurement method comes to the forefront with fast and reliable results compared with traditional measurement methods. The acquisition of the point cloud data by means of a terrestrial laser scanner from the blasted rock pile, generation of the three-dimensional model of the pile in the computer environment, surface reconstruction. and identification of the fragments forming the pile with an algorithm developed, and the determination of the size distributions of the fragments constitute the steps of the study. It has been concluded that this approach can be used effectively to determine the size distribution of fragmented rock piles in order to evaluate the blasting results.

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The funding provided by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey to realize this study is gratefully acknowledged (Grant no. 1059B191300271). The authors are grateful to Capital Quarries Co. Inc. and its helpful staff for their support during field works.

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Engin, I.C., Maerz, N.H., Boyko, K.J. et al. Practical Measurement of Size Distribution of Blasted Rocks Using LiDAR Scan Data. Rock Mech Rock Eng (2020).

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  • Rock blasting
  • Fragmentation
  • Size distribution
  • LiDAR
  • Laser scanning
  • New algorithm