Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Rockfall hazard rating system; benefits of utilizing remote sensing


Transportation corridor slopes have the potential to be hazardous to adjacent assets. The Rockfall Hazard Rating System (RHRS) is a stepwise process designed to identify potentially hazardous slopes by assigning a hazard rating that determines the order to mitigate and remediate slopes. The traditional RHRS approach is field-based: observations are made by a field crew who convert observations into slope ratings (preliminary and detailed). The purpose of this study is to examine the benefits of utilizing remote sensing techniques on 14 slopes within a 24-km railroad corridor in southeastern Nevada. Remote sensing allows for data acquisition in difficult-to-reach locations from various view angles. Images and data from three remote sensing technique-platform combinations are examined: optical imagery acquired via satellite, optical imagery acquired via unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and LiDAR data acquired from a stationary sensor. Detailed RHRS slope ratings from both sets of optical images are compared to two types of field-based ratings: (1) initial field observations performed using the traditional RHRS approach, and (2) average detailed rating scores from six participants (geologists and geotechnical engineers) who were given field notes of the 10 rating criteria for the 14 slopes. Terrestrial LiDAR is capable of monitoring slow slope deformation, with an accuracy of approximately 1-2 cm/year, and identifying areas of rapid deformation. Remote sensing techniques should not replace traditional field methods entirely. Instead, developing an approach that combines the advantages of field- and remote sensing-based methodologies will enable transportation agencies to ensure a more robust, efficient, and time-effective RHRS approach.

ISSN: 1078-7275
EISSN: 1558-9161
Coden: ENGEA9
Serial Title: Environmental & Engineering Geoscience
Serial Volume: 23
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Rockfall hazard rating system; benefits of utilizing remote sensing
Affiliation: Michigan Technological University, Department of Geological & Mining Engineering & Sciences, Houghton, MI, United States
Pages: 165-177
Published: 20161229
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Association of Engineering Geologists, College Station, TX, United States
References: 24
Accession Number: 2017-006193
Categories: Environmental geologyEngineering geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 6 tables, sketch maps
N35°00'00" - N37°00'00", W116°00'00" - W114°04'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Association of Engineering Geologists and the Geological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201705
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal