Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1003–1019, 2009

Special issue: LIDAR and DEM techniques for landslides monitoring and...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1003–1019, 2009

  26 Jun 2009

26 Jun 2009

Characterization and monitoring of the Åknes rockslide using terrestrial laser scanning

T. Oppikofer1, M. Jaboyedoff1, L. Blikra2,3, M.-H. Derron3, and R. Metzger1 T. Oppikofer et al.
  • 1Institute of Geomatics and Analysis of Risk (IGAR), University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2Åknes/Tafjord Project, Stranda, Norway
  • 3Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Trondheim, Norway

Abstract. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) provides high-resolution point clouds of the topography and new TLS instruments with ranges exceeding 300 m or even 1000 m are powerful tools for characterizing and monitoring slope movements. This study focuses on the 35 million m3 Åknes rockslide in Western Norway, which is one of the most investigated and monitored rockslides in the world. The TLS point clouds are used for the structural analysis of the steep, inaccessible main scarp of the rockslide, including an assessment of the discontinuity sets and fold axes. TLS acquisitions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 provide information on 3-D displacements for the entire scanned area and are not restricted like conventional survey instruments to single measurement points. The affine transformation matrix between two TLS acquisitions precisely describes the rockslide displacements and enables their separation into translational components, such as the displacement velocity and direction, and rotational components, like toppling. This study shows the ability of TLS to obtain reliable 3-D displacement information over a large, unstable area. Finally, a possible instability model for the upper part of Åknes rockslide explains the measured translational and rotational displacements by a combination of southward planar sliding along the gneiss foliation, gravitational vertical settlement along the complex, stepped basal sliding surface and northward toppling toward the opened graben structure.