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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 215295, 18 pages
Research Article

Image-Based Framework for Concrete Surface Crack Monitoring and Quantification

Department of Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA

Received 5 September 2009; Revised 25 December 2009; Accepted 10 March 2010

Academic Editor: Jinying Zhu

Copyright © 2010 ZhiQiang Chen and Tara C. Hutchinson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the engineering community, nondestructive imaging has been widely used for damage identification by capturing anomalies on the surface or inside of structural elements. In this paper, we focus on one of the most common damage types observed in civil engineering, namely, concrete surface cracks. To identify this type of damage, we propose an image-based framework, whereby optical cameras provide the source images. The framework involves several advanced image processing methods, including: (i) the determination of damage occurrence using time-series images, (ii) the localization of damage at each image frame, and (iii) the geometric quantification of damage. Challenges that may arise when images are obtained in the laboratory or field environment are addressed. Two application examples are provided to demonstrate the use and effectiveness of the proposed approach.