For the monitoring of large landslides, total stations equipped with an Electronic Distance Meter (EDM) are widely used. To obtain the atmospheric parameters, required along the line of sight of every measure, the data collected by a weather station close to the instrument are usually adopted. Even after these corrections, the results obtained in the monitoring of areas with complex topography don’t reach the accuracies theoretically attainable by the high-end instruments. The article proposes a method for removing the errors due to the influence of microclimate on the measurements obtained by a high-end EDM, in order to get the maximum accuracy obtainable from such instruments. The method is based on an atmospheric model, set up by using the climatic data and a digital terrain model (DTM) of the landslide area. The methodology has been applied to a landslide in southern Italy. Over 38,000 distances, acquired for each monitored point, were used. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the method: the standard deviations of the distances after their correction, show a reduction, ranging from 20% to 50%, with respect to the most diffused procedures; furthermore, the obtained accuracy equals the one declared by the manufacturer of the instrument for measurements in optimal conditions.
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