Seasonal slope surface deformation measured with TLS

L. Fan, J. Smethurst, W. Powrie, A. Sellaiya

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In temperate European climates, soil water removal due to vegetation transpiration peaks in summer and soil rewetting from higher levels of precipitation occurs in winter. In clays of high plasticity, the seasonal cycles of drying and wetting cause the soil to experience a volumetric change, resulting in seasonal shrinking and swelling. For a clay slope exhibiting volume change, such behaviour can lead to excessive deformation and could contribute to strain-softening and progressive slope failure. This can in turn cause traffic disruption and loss of life if roads and railways are founded on or surrounded by such slopes. This paper discusses the driving forces of seasonal surface movement, in particular the role of vegetation, and presents the use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) to measure the surface movement of a lightly vegetated London Clay slope near Newbury, UK. Two TLS scans were carried out in early and late summer respectively, representing relative wet and dry conditions of the slope. Continuous field measurements of soil water content in upper layers of the slope were obtained from TDR ThetaProbes already installed at the site. The water content data are used to support the results obtained from TLS by indicating the likely volumetric change in the soil due to loss of water.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event35th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, ISRSE 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: 22 Apr 201326 Apr 2013

Publication series

NameIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
ISSN (Print)1755-1307


Conference35th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, ISRSE 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal slope surface deformation measured with TLS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this