Next Article in Journal
Future Professionals: A Study of Sustainable Behavior
Next Article in Special Issue
Magnetic (Fe3O4) Nanoparticles Reduce Heavy Metals Uptake and Mitigate Their Toxicity in Wheat Seedling
Previous Article in Journal
Decomposing the Decoupling of Water Consumption and Economic Growth in China’s Textile Industry
Previous Article in Special Issue
Managing Reputational Risk through Environmental Management and Reporting: An Options Theory Approach
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 414;

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

Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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 Collection Risk Assessment and Management)
Full-Text   |   PDF [26648 KB, uploaded 10 March 2017]   |  


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top