Laser scanning for historical and geotechnical studies at pointe du HOC Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2007 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. All rights reserved. The Pointe du Hoc Historic Site, in Normandy, France was host to one of the most important battles of D-Day. Its importance is marked by the bravery of the men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion who scaled its 30 m cliffs to challenge one of the strongest German defense positions on the Atlantic Wall. That effort and its subsequent aid to the overall Allied success on D-Day has resulted in Pointe du Hoc becoming one of the most popular tourist sites in Normandy. Yet, Pointe du Hoc is at risk. The site, a sharp protrusion into the English Channel, is particularly vulnerable to erosive forces of rain, wind, and sea which for 60 years have taken their toll on the cliffs and the 20+ concrete structures they hold. The Center for Heritage Conservation was selected by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) to undertake an interdisciplinary study of the failure mechanisms of the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc. To determine the failure mechanisms for the cliff, subsurface mapping must be tied to surface maps. By integrating surface maps of the current conditions of the site and its buildings with subsurface geotechnical data a comprehensive understanding of cliff failure mechanisms and their inceptions can be created. This paper will review laser scanning of the cliffs and its use as the central tool in bringing together historical, geotechnical, and geophysical data to create recommendations for its preservation.

published proceedings

  • International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives

author list (cited authors)

  • Warden, R. B., Burt, R., Briaud, J. L., & Everett, M.

complete list of authors

  • Warden, RB||Burt, R||Briaud, JL||Everett, M

publication date

  • January 2007