Light Detection and Ranging or LiDAR is a remote optical sensing technology which has become an increasingly important and useful geospatial data acquisition technique across many different fields. Soilwater Consultants (SWC) use LiDAR systems to efficiently and accurately determine topography and ground information as part of our quality environmental services to suit specific client requirements.
LiDAR uses laser pulses to generate large amounts of accurate data about the physical characteristics of terrain and vegetation. This data is stored in a digital format and can then be utilised in a range of different applications. Specifically SWC utilise the LiDAR system to aid in and undertake the following activities:
• Quantitatively monitor rehabilitation and closure performance for a range of projects
• Quantify surface soil parameters
• Conduct high accuracy 3D surveys of stockpile volumes
• Conduct topographical surveys
• As a tool for monitoring landforms and vegetation establishment
• Determination of fill rates of surface water management features (settlement ponds, diversion channels etc.)
• Conducting geotechnical audits of tailings storage facilities (TSF)
• Conducting surveys of mine pits and waste rock landforms for month end reconciliation and production calculations
• As a tool to aid in closure cost estimation (i.e. infrastructure surveying)
• To quantify erosion features and sediment loss / deposition rates of landforms
How Do LiDAR Systems Work?
There are several different varieties of LiDAR, though all operate using the same basic principle: the instrument fires rapid pulses of light at the target of interest and a sensor mounted in the system measures the amount of time taken for each light pulse to bounce back. The position of the LiDAR system is coupled with a differential GPS system which then supplies an x,y,z location of all points scanned by the system. In this way a ‘point cloud’ of any physical feature can be generated for later use.