Next Article in Journal
Management Recommendation Generation for Areas Under Forest Restoration Process through Images Obtained by UAV and LiDAR
Previous Article in Journal
Capturing Coastal Dune Natural Vegetation Types Using a Phenology-Based Mapping Approach: The Potential of Sentinel-2
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sentinel-1 SAR Amplitude Imagery for Rapid Landslide Detection
Article Menu
Issue 12 (June-2) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Measurement of Road Surface Deformation Using Images Captured from UAVs

Department of Cartographic, Geodetic and Photogrammetric Engineering, University of Jaén, Campus de las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Centre for Advanced Studies in Earth Sciences (CEACTierra), University of Jaén, Campus de las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(12), 1507;
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landslide Hazard and Risk Assessment)
PDF [7349 KB, uploaded 26 June 2019]


This paper presents a methodology for measuring road surface deformation due to terrain instability processes. The methodology is based on ultra-high resolution images acquired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Flights are georeferenced by means of Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques. Dense point clouds, obtained using the multiple-view stereo (MVS) approach, are used to generate digital surface models (DSM) and high resolution orthophotographs (0.02 m GSD). The methodology has been applied to an unstable area located in La Guardia (Jaen, Southern Spain), where an active landslide was identified. This landslide affected some roads and accesses to a highway at the landslide foot. The detailed road deformation was monitored between 2012 and 2015 by means of eleven UAV flights of ultrahigh resolution covering an area of about 260 m × 90 m. The accuracy of the analysis has been established in 0.02 ± 0.01 m in XY and 0.04 ± 0.02 m in Z. Large deformations in the order of two meters were registered in the total period analyzed that resulted in maximum average rates of 0.62 m/month in the unstable area. Some boundary conditions were considered because of the low required flying height (<50 m above ground level) in order to achieve a suitable image GSD, the fast landslide dynamic, continuous maintenance works on the affected roads and dramatic seasonal vegetation changes throughout the monitoring period. Finally, we have analyzed the relation of displacements to rainfalls in the area, finding a significant correlation between the two variables, as well as two different reactivation episodes. View Full-Text
Keywords: road surface deformation; UAV images; SfM-MVS; monitoring points road surface deformation; UAV images; SfM-MVS; monitoring points

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cardenal, J.; Fernández, T.; Pérez-García, J.L.; Gómez-López, J.M. Measurement of Road Surface Deformation Using Images Captured from UAVs. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1507.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top