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Caracterization and modeling of rockfalls

Total activity: 13
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
145.200,00 €
Start date
End date
The goal of this project is to develop procedures for the characterization and modeling of fragmental rock falls and provide tools for risk
reduction. Based on the knowledge generated in the Rockrisk project, we will address the quantification of the fracture pattern of the rock
mass, the assessment of the mobilized volume and the failure conditions and the rock fall modeling.
The project is structured in three work blocks:
a) Explicit identification of unstable rock volumes and assessment of the stability. The main challenge of this goal is to identify and define "a
priori" the size of potential failure. We will analyze potentially unstable volumes that can be mobilized through isolated discontinuities,
coalescing discontinuities, with or without the contribution of the failure of rock bridges. This will be carried out using tools to obtain highresolution
surface models such as LiDAR and digital photogrammetry. One of the main tasks will be the analysis of the visible discontinuity
traces on the cliff surface and its relation the discontinuity persistence, the amount of rock bridges and their contribution to the resistance
of the massif.
b) Set up, refinement and validation of the rock fall fragmentation model. In the Rockrisk project we have developed a Fractal Model
Fragmentation of rockslides (Ruiz-Carulla et al. 2015b and submitted) that provides the volume distribution of rock fragments generated by
a rockfall (RBSD) from the fall of either a single block or a rock mass containing rock mass, characterized by an initial block distribution
(IBSD). The model provides the RBSD from IBSD through the iterative adjustment of the model coefficients. The goal is to assign "a priori"
(before the cliff failure) the coefficients of the model based on the rock type, bedrock type and geometry of the slope and thus anticipate
("forward prediction") the volume distribution of fragments resulting from the rockfall.
c) In Rockrisk we have developed a GIS model in open source (RockGIS) to calculate trajectories of rockfalls, including the fragmentation
of the rock mass (Matas et al. 2016 and submitted). The goal of Rockmodels is calibrate and validate the model with the inclusion of
fragmentation laws and the analysis of rockfall events. The code will take advantage of the availability of high-resolution digital surface
models (DSM). In relation to existing models, the new model will benefit from the high-resolution DSM generated with LiDAR and digital
photogrammetry in order to quantify the roughness and the restitution coefficients more accurately and spatially distributed. Finally, the
model will include the presence of structural elements in the path (protective elements like rockfall fences or protection embankments of
variable sizes, and exposed elements such as buildings of different structural types ) in order to quantify their interaction with blocks during
LIDAR, desprendimientos rocosos, digital photogrammetry, fotogrametría digital, fragmentación, fragmentation, modelación, modelling, rock falls
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Resoluton year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia
Funding subprogram
Subprograma Estatal de Generación de Conocimiento
Funding call
Excelencia: Proyectos I+D
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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