Potholes are a bowl-shaped pavement distress that is commonly found in asphalt pavements in cold weather climates. Potholes are initiated when water seeps into open cracking and, as it freezes, expands and creates a weak point in the structure. As traffic crosses the weak point the increased pressure dislodges portions of the pavement resulting in a hole.

Potholes are of concern to Pavement Engineers as, if left unchecked, they can lead to rapid deterioration of a road surface. Potholes also directly impact the traveling public as potholes can damage both tires and suspension components.

Pavemetrics® Laser Crack Measurement System (LCMS®-2) helps to manage potholes by automatically detecting and quantifying them. The LCMS reports location, maximum depth, average depth as well as dimensions.

The LCMS also automatically assigns a low, moderate or high severity rating to potholes based on the Federal Highway Administration’s Distress Identification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program (2003).

Pothole location, dimensions and severity rating are output in XML format along with a variety of JPEG images showing detected potholes highlighted in blue.


D5340; Can be used for airport condition index surveys
D6433; Can be used for Roads and parking lot pavement condition index surveys


Distress Indentification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program (Potholes)