Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2016-316
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Brief communication
07 Oct 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Brief communication: 3D reconstruction of a collapsed rock pillar from web-retrieved images and terrestrial LiDAR data – The 2005 event of the West face of the Drus (Mont-Blanc massif)
Antoine Guerin1, Antonio Abellán2, Battista Matasci3, Michel Jaboyedoff1, Marc-Henri Derron1, and Ludovic Ravanel4 1Risk Analysis Group, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
2Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
3Bureau d’Etudes Géologiques SA, Aproz, Switzerland
4EDYTEM, University Savoie Mont Blanc – CNRS, Le Bourget du Lac, France
Abstract. In June 2005, a series of major rockfall events completely wiped out the Bonatti Pillar located in the legendary Drus West face (Mont-Blanc massif, France). Terrestrial LiDAR scans of the face were acquired after this event but no pre-event point cloud is available. Thus, in order to reconstruct the volume and the shape of the collapsed blocks, a 3D model has been built using photogrammetry (SfM) based on 30 pictures collected on the Web. All these pictures were taken between September 2003 and May 2005. We then reconstructed the shape and volume of the fallen compartment by comparing the SfM model with terrestrial LiDAR data acquired in October 2005 and November 2011. The volume is calculated to 292’680 m3 (±5 %). This result is close to the value previously assessed by Ravanel and Deline (2008) for this same rock-avalanche (265’000 ± 10’000 m3). The difference between these two estimations can be explained by the rounded shape of the volume determined by photogrammetry, which may lead to a volume overestimation. However it is not excluded that the volume calculated by Ravanel and Deline (2008) is slightly underestimated, the thickness of the blocks having been assessed manually from historical photographs.

Citation: Guerin, A., Abellán, A., Matasci, B., Jaboyedoff, M., Derron, M.-H., and Ravanel, L.: Brief communication: 3D reconstruction of a collapsed rock pillar from web-retrieved images and terrestrial LiDAR data – The 2005 event of the West face of the Drus (Mont-Blanc massif), Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2016-316, in review, 2016.
Antoine Guerin et al.
Antoine Guerin et al.

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Short summary
The coupling between terrestrial LiDAR scans acquired in 2011 and a photogrammetric model created from 30 old web-retrieved images enabled to reconstruct in 3D the Drus West face before the 2005 rock-avalanche and calculate the volume of this event. The volume is calculated to 292’680 m3 (±5 %). However, if this method has functioned well for the Drus (legendary peak), it would have been difficult to implement on a less well-known site where fewer images could have been collected and downloaded.
The coupling between terrestrial LiDAR scans acquired in 2011 and a photogrammetric model...
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