Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Use of a remotely piloted aircraft system for hazard assessment in a rocky mining area (Lucca, Italy)
Riccardo Salvini1, Giovanni Mastrorocco1, Giuseppe Esposito1, Silvia Di Bartolo1, John Coggan2, and Claudio Vanneschi2 1Department of Environmental, Earth and Physical Sciences and Centre of GeoTechnologies, University of Siena, Via Vetri Vecchi 34, 52027 San Giovanni Valdarno, AR, Italy
2University of Exeter, Camborne School of Mines (CSM), College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS), Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
Abstract. The use of remote sensing techniques is now common practice in different working environments, including engineering geology. Moreover, in recent years the development of structure from motion (SfM) methods, together with rapid technological improvement, has allowed the widespread use of cost effective remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for acquiring detailed and accurate geometrical information even in evolving environments, such as mining contexts. Indeed, the acquisition of remotely sensed data from hazardous areas provides accurate 3D models and high resolution orthophotos minimizing the risk for operators. The quality and quantity of the data obtainable from RPAS surveys can then be used for inspection of mining areas, audit of mining design, rock mass characterizations, stability analysis investigations and monitoring activities. Despite the widespread use of RPAS, its potential and limitations have still to be fully understood.

In this paper a case study is shown where a RPAS was used for the engineering geological investigation of a closed marble mine area in Italy: direct ground based techniques couldn't be applied for safety reasons. In view of re-activation of the mining operations, high resolution images taken from different positions and heights were acquired and processed by using SfM techniques, for obtaining an accurate and detailed three-dimensional model of the area. The geometrical and radiometrical information was subsequently used for a deterministic rock mass characterization that led to the identification of two large marble blocks that pose a potential significant hazard issue for the future workforce. A preliminary stability analysis was then carried out in order to demonstrate the potential use of RPAS information in engineering geological contexts for geo-hazard identification, awareness and reduction.

Citation: Salvini, R., Mastrorocco, G., Esposito, G., Di Bartolo, S., Coggan, J., and Vanneschi, C.: Use of a remotely piloted aircraft system for hazard assessment in a rocky mining area (Lucca, Italy), Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Riccardo Salvini et al.
Riccardo Salvini et al.
Riccardo Salvini et al.


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