Surveyors are used to measure stockpile volumes on construction and mining sites but also in quarries, aggregates storage sites or landfill areas. Drone surveying is a game changer in those use cases. It's now quicker, easier and safer to collect data over large stockpiles. Nevertheless, it's not necessarily easy to use drone data to generate robust stockpile calculation reports. Virtual Surveyor includes tools that help surveyors to perform those calculations in a simple and accurate way.
This article describes a step by step guide to help you calculate your stockpile volumes.
Preparation : Conveyor removing
Before launching a stockpile calculation, it's important to remove objects that hang over the pile. Indeed you don't want to include them into the material volume. Conveyors and machines like wheel loaders are often over stockpile. In general, the first step is to remove those objects by using Remove Objects or Replace terrain tools.
You can have a look to that article that describes how to remove conveyor even in complex environment.
Boundary and reference surface
To create the reference surface, you need a boundary that surrounds the stockpile. Base triangles are built on the vertex of this boundary, their Z values are very important. It's essential to accurately draw the line at the bottom of the stockpile. Activate the Guided Breakline Tool and use the Boundary tool to draw the base line. To easily identify the bottom of the stockpile, activate the Slope Steepness Terrain Lens.
When the boundary is completed, make sure to select it and create the base surface by using Triangulate Within tool available in the SELECTION - TOOLS for Boundary.
You can also use the Quick Surface tool available in the HOME tab to merge those steps.
The volume calculation will be done between the current terrain and the selected surface.
Results visualization and export
Cut and fill values are available in the Volume box. If you want to display those values within the viewport activate Volume checkbox in the Annotation settings that you'll find in the SELECTION - TOOLS for Volume.
You can export volume values as a spreadsheet (.csv) or as a CAD file (.shp). Select the volume item and got to the EXPORT tab. Set the right export format in the box and click on Export Volume button.
Tips and Tricks
- You can create multiple base surfaces at the same time. Select all the boundaries before going through the surface creation process. In the same way, you can also launch multiple volume calculations in one click by selecting multiple surface items before clicking on Calculate Volume button.
- It's possible to import DXF file to define stockpiles boundaries. For example, if you have to regularly monitor stockpiles that have the same base, you can import DXF bases file.
- Stockpiles areas are sometimes organized with walled spaces. In that specific case. it's not possible to draw a boundary at the bottom of the stockpile to define the reference surface. To create the base surface, use a boundary that follows the walls and then use the Triangulate Within button available in the HOME tab. Select flat method and make sure the Flat Minimum checkbox is activated to generate a reference surface under the stockpile.
- To get a better volume annotations visualization within the viewport use the top-down 2D mode.
- Volume calculations with Quick Surface tool (based on an outdated version of Virtual Surveyor)