A Terrestrial Laser Scanner is applied for the first time to monitoring active sinkholes

The Digital Mapping and 3D Analysis Laboratory of the CENIEH has collaborated on a scientific project with the University of Zaragoza to understand the processes of karstic subsidence and assess the most effective way to curb them

Alfonso Benito Calvo, a geologist at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), is the lead author of a paper published in the journal  Remote Sensing which explores, for the first time, the application of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) to monitoring the processes of karstic subsidence  or sinkhole expansion.

This work is the outcome of a collaborative scientific project between the Digital Mapping and 3D Analysis Laboratory of the CENIEH and the University of Zaragoza to undertake 4D monitoring of the processes prompted by the dissolution of the substrate, which is affecting different infrastructure components in the vicinity of the city of Zaragoza.

Specifically, the TLS has made it possible to measure, with millimetric precision, the spatial and temporal evolution of these sinkhole processes affecting the streets and buildings of the locality of Alcalá de Ebro (Zaragoza), as well as the route and shopping malls of the N-232-a highway to Logroño.

“These measurements let us determine the causes of these sinkhole processes and study the efficacy of the engineering work carried out to curb them”, concludes Benito.