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The roughness of a discontinuity may be an important factor influencing shear strength of the discontinuity. Determining the roughness of a discontinuity surface and providing a numerical measure of the roughness generally requires considerable effort. The development of new, easily accessible tools for 3D imaging has provided effective fast and accurate means of creating 3D surface models from which roughness measurements can be readily obtained. These new techniques are versatile enough to enable a user to measure roughness along any desired profile and at any resolution up to the limit of the spatial subtense of an image pixel on the discontinuity surface. This paper reviews the use of 3D imaging for the measurement of roughness and provides some examples of the measurements.
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