During Phase II, pilot studies for the use of LiDAR, InSAR and photogrammetric technologies were conducted on several known hazardous areas in northern Ontario and B.C. The use of LiDAR and photogrammetric analysis was very successful in demonstrating the utility of these technologies for monitoring changes in the terrain. The analysis of sequential 3D LiDAR and photogrammetric slope models has recorded several distinct failure processes, delineated incipient failures and has identified several locations at which failure appears imminent. The wide application of aerial- or space-based change detection technologies has the potential to detect and monitor ground hazards not visible during routine inspections. These technologies and methods show promise for inclusion in railway rock engineering and slope assessments, particularly for inaccessible locations.
The research in this theme further developed, tested and optimized the methodology for including remotely sensed data into a formal system to identify, characterize and monitor hazardous natural slopes. This involved an expansion of our understanding of how best to apply space borne, aerial and terrestrial remote sensing techniques to complex slopes, and various ground hazard types, for the purposes of identifying, characterizing, rating and monitoring hazardous locations. The optimization of the methodology focused on identifying the characteristics of each failure modes and the effect of the complex nature of the slopes. The key research objectives for this theme included:
Reviewing the space borne, aerial and terrestrial remote sensing techniques’ ability to detect changes on complex slope in order to develop and apply the best method for identifying, characterizing, rating and monitoring complex slopes;
Investigating ground hazard conditions for various geological areas in eastern and western Canada, then analyzing the factors for hazardous rock slope failures and the influence of predictable weather-climate cycles;
Verifying and validating the natural slope monitoring system based on the methods developed by high quality personnel (HQP), and evaluating the applications, impacts and improvements to the railway network;
Validating the use of remotely sensed aerial slope data as input for a formal system using quantitative change detection methods and identifying the optimal applications of remote sensing/change detection techniques for the railway network; and
Investigating optimal applications for remote sensing/change detection techniques for different slope failure models and evaluating failure modelling approaches to support the rating/monitoring of natural slopes.