3D mapping of discontinuity traces using fusion of point cloud and image data

  • Peng Zhang
  • Qianyun Zhao
  • Dwayne D. Tannant
  • Tingting Ji
  • Hehua Zhu
Original Paper


A new methodology is presented for 3-D automated mapping of joints that are exposed primarily as traces in a rock face as opposed to planar facets. The method identifies 3-D points in a photogrammetry or a LiDAR derived point cloud that corresponds to the traces of the joints as observed in image data. First, the 2-D trace texture is extracted from image data using a hybrid global and local threshold method and integrating a series of image-processing algorithms. Second, data matching links the pixel locations corresponding to the identified traces in an image to the 3-D coordinates in the point cloud. This matching is accomplished by a coordinate transformation between the image coordinates and point cloud coordinates. Finally, a 3-D discontinuity trace map is acquired by analysing the 3-D spatial features of the traces. A case study of a rock slope along a highway is presented using the proposed method. The results demonstrate that the fusion of image data and point cloud data improves the mapping of discontinuities that primarily appear as traces in outcrops versus that achieved by existing methods that rely only on point cloud data.


Discontinuity traces 3D discontinuity mapping Data fusion Point clouds Image analysis 



The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC NO. 41372295 and NO. 41102178), and the Youth Teacher Overseas Research Project Jiangsu Province, China.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qianyun Zhao
    • 1
  • Dwayne D. Tannant
    • 2
  • Tingting Ji
    • 1
  • Hehua Zhu
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Transportation Science & EngineeringNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of EngineeringUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada
  3. 3.College of Civil EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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