Articles | Volume 11, issue 5
Research article
18 Sep 2020
Research article |  | 18 Sep 2020

Mapping the fracture network in the Lilstock pavement, Bristol Channel, UK: manual versus automatic

Christopher Weismüller, Rahul Prabhakaran, Martijn Passchier, Janos L. Urai, Giovanni Bertotti, and Klaus Reicherter

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Cited articles

Andrews, B. J., Roberts, J. J., Shipton, Z. K., Bigi, S., Tartarello, M. C., and Johnson, G.: How do we see fractures?, Quantifying subjective bias in fracture data collection, Solid Earth, 10, 487–516,, 2019. 
Agheshlui, H., Sedaghat, M. H., and Matthai, S.: Stress Influence on Fracture Aperture and Permeability of Fragmented Rocks, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 123, 3578–3592,, 2018. 
Agisoft: PhotoScan Professional (Version 1.3.2) (Software), Retrieved from:, last access: 6 June 2017. 
Azizmohammadi, S. and Matthäi, S. K.: Is the permeability of naturally fractured rocks scale dependent?, Water Resour. Res., 53, 8041–8063,, 2017. 
Belayneh, M. and Cosgrove, J. W.: Fracture-pattern variations around a major fold and their implications regarding fracture prediction using limited data: an example from the Bristol Channel Basin, Geol. Soc. Lond. Spec. Publ., 231, 89–102,, 2004. 
Short summary
We photographed a fractured limestone pavement with a drone to compare manual and automatic fracture tracing and analyze the evolution and spatial variation of the fracture network in high resolution. We show that automated tools can produce results comparable to manual tracing in shorter time but do not yet allow the interpretation of fracture generations. This work pioneers the automatic fracture mapping of a complete outcrop in detail, and the results can be used as fracture benchmark.