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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 414; doi:10.3390/su9030414

Analysis of Potential Rockfalls on a Highway at High Slopes in Cold-Arid Areas (Northwest Xinjiang, China)

1
Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Xindikan Geotechnical Engineering Investigation and Design Co., Ltd., Urumqi 830000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Elena Cristina Rada and Lucian-Ionel Cioca
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [26648 KB, uploaded 10 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

In the steep mountainous areas in northwest Xinjiang, where rock mass is broken seriously due to intense freeze thaw weathering, rockfall is one of the most common geological hazards on highway high slopes. Engineering geological investigations on geological hazards along a segment of the G219 highway was conducted, indicating that rockfalls on the high slopes threaten the safety of vehicles on the highway seriously. In this study, a combination of field investigations, laboratory experiments and numerical simulation methods was performed to identify unstable high slopes, simulate the rockfall trajectories and assess the rockfall hazard in the study area. The results show that there are five high slopes (i.e., W01, W02, …, W05) where rockfall hazard is extremely serious. Considering both the total kinetic energy and the accumulation rate of blocks, rockfall influence area zonation was performed, leading to the conclusions that the sections of highway on W01 to W05 are located at the medium-intensity low-accumulation zone, high-intensity medium-accumulation zone, high-intensity low-accumulation zone, high-intensity low-accumulation zone and medium-intensity high-accumulation zone, respectively. Based on the analysis, a zonation map was accomplished, which could help engineers select effective mitigation measures against rockfalls to avoid casualty and property losses. View Full-Text
Keywords: highway; high slope; rockfall hazard; total kinetic energy; accumulation rate; zonation highway; high slope; rockfall hazard; total kinetic energy; accumulation rate; zonation
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Yang, P.; Shang, Y.; Li, Y.; Wang, H.; Li, K. Analysis of Potential Rockfalls on a Highway at High Slopes in Cold-Arid Areas (Northwest Xinjiang, China). Sustainability 2017, 9, 414.

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