Assessing and managing instability hazards is an essential activity when working with both unstable natural slopes and engineered slopes. The GroundProbe ‘Slope Stability Radar’ (SSR) was developed to provide an improved tool to manage risk related to slope instability. The SSR is an all-weather system that remotely scans rock slopes to continuously measure surface movement with a sub-millimetre precision. The combination of near real time measurement, sub-millimetre precision and broad area coverage to quickly identify the size of developing failures provides ideal parameters for the management of slope instability hazards. It has allowed users to detect and alert personnel of rock wall movements that may result in instability. The success of using radar in monitoring slopes is verified by the rapid adoption of the technology by major mining operations throughout the world. This paper provides a brief outline of some of the slope instability risk management applications of SSR systems.


The instability of engineered and natural slopes is often of high importance due to potential for loss of life and property. The GroundProbe Slope Stability Radar (SSR) was developed to aid in the management of risks associated with unstable slopes. This paper describes the use of the SSR system in a risk management framework for management of unstable rock slopes. Before discussion of the SSR use within a slope instability risk management framework, a brief introduction to rock slope failure, rock slope monitoring, risk management and the SSR technology is presented.

1.1 Rock slope failure

Failure of rock slopes is mostly defined by serviceability or performance criteria defined by the owners or users of the slope and is therefore difficult to define uniquely. Glastonbury & Fell (2002) used the term ‘collapse’ to denote the single point of sudden movement, disaggregation and associated large-scale displacement.

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