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A review of the use of terrestrial laser scanning application for change detection and deformation monitoring of structures

Mukupa, Wallace; Roberts, Gethin Wyn; Hancock, Craig M.; Al-Manasir, Khalil

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Wallace Mukupa

Gethin Wyn Roberts

Craig M. Hancock

Khalil Al-Manasir


Change detection and deformation monitoring is an active area of research within the field of engineering surveying as well as overlapping areas such as structural and civil engineering. The application of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) techniques for change detection and deformation monitoring of concrete structures has increased over the years as illustrated in the past studies. This paper presents a review of literature on TLS application in the monitoring of structures and discusses registration and georeferencing of TLS point cloud data as a critical issue in the process chain of accurate deformation analysis. Past TLS research work has shown some trends in addressing issues such as accurate registration and georeferencing of the scans and the need of a stable reference frame, TLS error modelling and reduction, point cloud processing techniques for deformation analysis, scanner calibration issues and assessing the potential of TLS in detecting sub-centimetre and millimetre deformations. However, several issues are still open to investigation as far as TLS is concerned in change detection and deformation monitoring studies such as rigorous and efficient workflow methodology of point cloud processing for change detection and deformation analysis, incorporation of measurement geometry in deformation measurements of high-rise structures, design of data acquisition and quality assessment for precise measurements and modelling the environmental effects on the performance of laser scanning. Even though some studies have attempted to address these issues, some gaps exist as information is still limited. Some methods reviewed in the case studies have been applied in landslide monitoring and they seem promising to be applied in engineering surveying to monitor structures. Hence the proposal of a three-stage process model for deformation analysis is presented. Furthermore, with technological advancements new TLS instruments with better accuracy are being developed necessitating more research for precise measurements in the monitoring of structures.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 15, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 3, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 3, 2016
Journal Survey Review
Print ISSN 0039-6265
Electronic ISSN 1752-2706
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Terrestrial laser scanning, Change detection, Deformation monitoring, Registration, Georeferencing, Review
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Survey Review on 15/04/2016, available online:


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