ABSTRACT:

  • Geometry of the slope and location of infrastructure and human activity.

  • Size of the expected rock and associated kinetic energy.

  • Expected primary impact distance (PID) from the base of the slope.

  • Expected total rollout distance (RD).

The excavation of slopes in mountainous terrain for road or railway access, slopes in open cast mines, and deteriorating natural or existing slopes can pose a significant hazard to human activities and infrastructure. The assessment of rock fall risk along roads, in communities below mountains and in mining operations is imperative. Numerical models are often used to predict rock fall trajectories, assess the effectiveness of benched slope designs, and aid in the design of rock fall barriers. Inputs into the models should be calibrated with field tests or historic case studies specific to the geological setting. This paper investigates the primary impact distance (PID) and the total rollout distance (RD) from the base of the slope using both field tests and numerical models. Understanding and having the ability to predict PID and RD for future rock fall events is beneficial during the slope design process for optimizing slope angles to minimize excavation costs and risk management for constructed or natural slopes.

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