Abstract

Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is a surveying technology that has seen increasing use in the field of geosciences in recent years. One potential application for this technology is to aid in quantitative stratigraphy. Given a point cloud containing multiple lithologies, the points associated with a specific lithology can be analyzed to quantify the geometric characteristics of that lithology, such as apparent dip, thickness, and spacing. In this study, a semiautomated work flow to perform such a characterization is presented and applied to a case study from an oil sands pit mine in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada. The results obtained using data collected with mobile and static TLS systems are compared to evaluate the effects of the various measurements and resolutions on the resulting stratigraphic statistics. In addition, mobile data collected for a small portion of the pit that was actively being mined are compared over time to evaluate changes in sedimentary layering in the direction perpendicular to the pit face. This component of the study highlights the impact of data quality on the resulting interpretations and represents a potential methodology for enhancing three-dimensional quantitative spatial modeling in a sedimentary environment.

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