Engineering geological characterization of the 2014 Jure Nepal Landslide: An Integrated Field, Remote Sensing-Virtual/Mixed Reality Approach

Date created: 
Remote sensing
Virtual/mixed reality
Engineering geology
Change detection

Characterization of unstable rock slopes can pose a high level of risk toward the geoscientist/engineer in the field due to inaccessibility and safety issues. During recent decades, rapidly developing remote sensing (RS) techniques, including Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), Terrestrial Digital Photogrammetry (TDP), and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Structure-from-Motion (UAV-SfM) are being progressively employed for landslide investigation and risk assessment. These methods allow acquisition of three-dimensional (3D) data sets from previously inaccessible terrain with sub-centimeter accuracy. This research describes an innovative approach to investigate the preliminary engineering geological characterization of a large (~5.5 Mm3), destructive landslide that occurred on August 2nd, 2014 near Jure in Sindhupalchok, ~70 km northeast of Kathmandu, Nepal. Various methods have been employed including traditional field surveys, RS techniques and preliminary 2D/3D numerical modelling with the objective of understanding conditioning factors, slope failure mechanisms, and identifying/mitigating future hazards at the site. With four years of RS data, analysis of strength degradation and progressive weakening of the rock mass is investigated by linking process of erosion and deposition using 3D change detection algorithms. The slope is still potentially in an unstable state, undergoing progressive rockfalls/slides with the most recent major event (~20,000 m3) in August 2017. Results throughout this thesis, including 2D/3D rock engineering mapping and modelling have been integrated into an interactive 3D Virtual/Mixed Reality (VR/MR) Jure Landslide geodatabase model, enabling an immersive and enhanced engineering 3D geovisualization experience. A comparative 2D/3D, and VR/MR rockfall simulations has been undertaken and developed within an augmented reality Microsoft HoloLens. Moreover, this thesis concludes on how VR/MR techniques can be employed to conduct discontinuity mapping on virtual outcrops and provide a game-changing way that geoscientists can communicate landslide investigation and risk assessment in all stages of rock engineering.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Douglas Stead
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.