3-DIMENSIONAL RECORDING OF KARST MORPHOLOGIES: THE NEXT LEAP FORWARD IN CAVE SURVEY?
Within the last decade, modern 3D imaging has produced numerous low-cost devices and methods for recording 3D structure. These offer practical alternatives to LIDAR that are usable and affordable for most cave scientists. The Microsoft Kinect 3D imaging device and 3D photogrammetry provide excellent alternatives to LIDAR, while having a set up cost in the range of hundreds of dollars (USD). Both of these systems provide cave scientists cheap 3D scanning platforms capable of 1mm resolution.
With these techniques, we are able to record and analyze 3D surfaces in karst systems. Specifically, we use the collected 3D surfaces as real-world geometries to investigate the physical processes influencing morphogenesis and speleogenesis. Such techniques can also be applied for educational, navigation, and preservation purposes.