Patterns of precursory rockfall prior to slope failure

Rosser, Nicholas, Lim, Michael, Petley, David, Dunning, Stuart and Allison, Robert (2007) Patterns of precursory rockfall prior to slope failure. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 (F04014). ISSN 0148-0227

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006JF000642

Abstract

In this paper we examine data generated using high-resolution three-dimensional laser scanning monitoring of coastal rock cliffs. These data are used to identify spatial and temporal patterns in rockfall activity behavior prior to slope failure. Analysis of the data suggests that given sufficient measurement precision precursory behavior, here manifest as the rate of rockfall activity prior to failure, can be detected, measured, and monitored. Environmental conditions appear to have a diminishing influence on the occurrence of increasingly large slope failures. The monitoring data implies a time-dependent sequence in the occurrence of smaller rockfalls in the period leading to the largest failures recorded. This behavior is attributed to the mechanisms of strain accumulation in the rock mass resulting from brittle failure of the slope. The implication is that combining these data with models of failure mechanisms may allow failure time to be forecast from wide-area monitoring of precursory behavior. These findings have implications for the management of potentially unstable slopes, the understanding of slope failure mechanisms, and the generation of a new type of slope failure warning systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: precursors, laser scanning
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Stuart Dunning
Date Deposited: 02 May 2012 11:06
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:33
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6757

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