EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Geohazard assessment of mass movements along railroad corridors with UAV LiDAR

Donna Delparte, Zachery Lifton, and Matthew Belt
Donna Delparte et al.
  • Department of Geosciences, Idaho State University, USA

Railroad corridors in northern Idaho are subject to landslides, debris flows, and rock fall. These geologic hazards have the potential to severely impact railroad assets, profitability, and public safety, particularly when hazardous materials are transported. Recent slope instability and mass movement in these railroad corridors have affected rail operations and emphasized the need for a detailed understanding of geologic hazards and slope dynamics in this region. Idaho Geological Survey (IGS) and Idaho State University (ISU) conducted a series of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) missions equipped with LiDAR to survey selected landslides. This pilot project acquired high-resolution data at two sites along steep canyon slopes of the Kootenay River and one site along the Moyie River. The selected sites represent a diversity of terrain conditions, coverage area, forest canopy, and mass movement activity. In addition to collecting bare earth models of the landslide areas, this pilot project assessed resolution requirements, canopy penetration, and deployment complexity to provide a baseline for repeat surveys. Best practices for data collection and point cloud alignment for geohazard assessment are highlighted based on variations in terrain cover and slope.

How to cite: Delparte, D., Lifton, Z., and Belt, M.: Geohazard assessment of mass movements along railroad corridors with UAV LiDAR, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22574,, 2020

Display materials

Display file

Comments on the display material

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Display material version 1 – uploaded on 07 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-22574, Rafaela Niemann, 08 May 2020

    Hello Dr. Donna Delparte! Your research is very, very interesting. If possible, I would like to know which flight plan software you used to do the slope imaging, which filter you used to generate the bare earth models and also which algorithm you used to model the landslide. Thank you!

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Donna Delparte, 08 May 2020

      Universal Ground Control Software for mission planning, Cloud Compare for alignment, Lastools to create the bare earth model and OpenGL with physics model - custom programming.