Applicable plans
Valley Ridge Peak

Surveyors are often hired to validate the capacity of water pits used in fracking. Virtual Surveyor includes tools to measure the capacity directly from your drone data. For example, it's critical to validate the exact volume of a pit before safely putting it into operation.

This article provides a step by step guide to quickly and easily measure pond volumes.

Note: Use this workflow only with an empty pond. Photogrammetric image processing does not generally see through water.


  1. Extract the expected maximum water level.
  2. Select the boundary.
  3. Triangulate that boundary to create the water surface.
  4. Select the water surface.
  5. Calculate the retention volume.

Extract the water level

Use the Extract Level tool available in the HOME tab to determine the water level. Place the cursor at the expected filling level and left-mouse click. A boundary will be created within the pound. 

Note: If an open polyline is created or if the boundary gets out of the basin, the water level is too high, or your drone data is too noisy. You can edit the boundary using the Edit tools in SELECTION - TOOLS.

Create the water surface

Select the water level boundary. Go to the SELECTION TOOLS tab and use the Triangulate Within tool. 

Calculate the retention volume

Select the created water surface. Go to the SELECTION TOOLS tab and click on Calculate Volume. A progress bar appears in the lower left comer. When the calculation is complete your results will be available in the volume box.

Tips and tricks

  • Like a stockpile volume calculation, you can display the volume information on top of the water surface. 
  • You can set multiple water levels to analyze different water filling scenarios.

    Note: This report has been produced with Virtual Surveyor results in Excel.

  • You can also complete the analysis report with measurements of the dimensions of the pit and the embankment slopes analysis. Use the measurement tools available in the ANALYSIS tab.