The State of New Mexico Abandoned Mine Lands Program used terrestrial light detection and ranging (lidar) data to support an engineering project in Silver City. The project involved evaluating and safeguarding the Legal Tender Mine upon which the surrounding community established a system of trails. Multiple open stopes (excavations) are scattered across the abandoned mine that is visited by local townspeople and often used by wildlife. Considering the community’s desire to continue to utilize the aboveground area as a hiking and biking area, an engineering contract was established to assess mine wall stability. Terrestrial lidar data were collected and a high-definition laser scanning survey of the mine interior was provided to the engineers to create a 3D visualization (figure below) that was used to determine the stability and strength of the below-ground pillars and walls. This information is essential to support the recreational planning efforts for the site.
Side view of a lidar 3D model of the large underground chamber, pillars, and top surface draped with an aerial photograph