This paper outlines a preliminary methodology for the use of remote sensing in the characterization of seepage zones in major open pit and natural slopes. The application of a range of techniques is discussed focusing on digital photogrammetry, ground based LiDAR and Infrared Thermography (IRT). The definition of seepage zones and preliminary hydrogeological domains can be based on a combination of both remote sensing and field based mapping of discontinuity geometry, geological structures and rock mass quality. The application of discrete fracture network engineering principles to rock slope characterization is demonstrated with the combined use of fracture and seepage intensity methods. Sources of parameter uncertainty in hydrogeological mapping of rock slope faces are discussed. Data from two open pits where ground-based photogrammetry has been used to characterize the influence of rock mass structure on groundwater seepage is presented along with the results of ground-based LiDAR and infrared thermography on high natural rock slopes.

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