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Photogrammetric digital outcrop reconstruction, visualization with textured surfaces, and three-dimensional structural analysis and modeling; innovative methodologies applied to fault-related dolomitization (Vajont Limestone, southern Alps, Italy)

Andrea Bistacchi, Fabrizio Balsamo, Fabrizio Storti, Mahtab Mozafari, Rudy Swennen, John Solum, Christian Tueckmantel and Conxita Taberner
Photogrammetric digital outcrop reconstruction, visualization with textured surfaces, and three-dimensional structural analysis and modeling; innovative methodologies applied to fault-related dolomitization (Vajont Limestone, southern Alps, Italy)
Geosphere (Boulder, CO) (December 2015) 11 (6): 2031-2048

Abstract

Different remote sensing technologies, including photogrammetry and LIDAR (light detection and ranging), allow collecting three-dimensional (3D) data sets that can be used to create 3D digital representations of outcrop surfaces, called digital outcrop models (DOM). The main advantages of photogrammetry over LIDAR are represented by the very simple and lightweight field equipment (a digital camera), and by the arbitrary spatial resolution, that can be increased simply getting closer to the outcrop or by using a different lens. The quality of photogrammetric data sets obtained with structure from motion (SFM) techniques has shown a tremendous improvement over the past few years, and this is becoming one of the more effective ways to collect DOM data sets. The Vajont Gorge (Belluno Dolomites, Italy) provides spectacular outcrops of jurassic limestones (Vajont Limestone Formation) in which mesozoic faults and fracture corridors are continuously exposed. Some of these faults acted as conduits for fluids, resulting in structurally controlled dolomitization. A 3D DOM study, based on a photogrammetric SFM data set, was carried out, aimed at enabling interdisciplinary characterization and reconstruction of coupled brittle deformation and fluid flow processes. For this study we used a DOM (730 mX360 mX270 m) consisting of continuous triangulated surfaces representing the outcrop, textured with high-resolution images. Interpretation and modeling performed on this data set include (1) georeferencing of structural measurements and sampling stations; (2) tracing of stratigraphic boundaries, structural surfaces, and dolomitization fronts (ground-truthed); (3) correlation and extrapolation of realistic 3D surfaces from these traces; and (4) development of a 3D geological model at the scale of the Vajont Gorge, including stratigraphy, faults, dolomitization fronts, and volumetric meshes suitable for the statistical analysis of structural, diagenetic, and geochemical parameters. The DOM study highlighted the close relationship between faults and dolostone geobodies, demonstrating that dolomitization was guided by fluid infiltration along Mesozoic normal faults. In order to explore the uncertainty associated with the 3D model of irregularly shaped dolostone bodies, three different 3D dolostone geobody realizations have been modeled, providing a minimum, intermediate, and maximum estimate of the dolostone/limestone volumetric facies ratio, while honoring the field constraints.


EISSN: 1553-040X
Serial Title: Geosphere (Boulder, CO)
Serial Volume: 11
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Photogrammetric digital outcrop reconstruction, visualization with textured surfaces, and three-dimensional structural analysis and modeling; innovative methodologies applied to fault-related dolomitization (Vajont Limestone, southern Alps, Italy)
Affiliation: Universita di Milano Bicocca, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Milan, Italy
Pages: 2031-2048
Published: 201512
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
References: 50
Accession Number: 2016-005544
Categories: Structural geologyApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch map
N46°00'00" - N46°30'00", E11°30'00" - E12°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Universita di Parma, ITA, ItalyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven, BEL, BelgiumShell Global Solutions International, NLD, Netherlands
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201603
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