The precision of height measurements derived from laser scanning a weathered rock surface was analysed. Different registration methods for comparing surfaces to deduce weathering were assessed and the most precise was found to be the method that used registration shapes as control, located in different planes relative to the scanned surface. In addition, the different sources of error in scanning precision were assessed by varying factors such as scan distance, lens configuration, scan angle and the nature of the topography being scanned. From this analysis it was possible to suggest what the optimal scanning conditions were for this particular experimental set-up. The procedures outlined for assessing errors in the precision of height measurements are transferable to other scanning studies.