ABSTRACT:

The impact of rock falls on people, manmade infrastructures, and inhabited areas is considered in this paper, with examples taken from practice and personal experience. Both conventional and advanced investigation methods to study and characterize the rock mass and define the likely modes of rock instability initiation and failure are used. The rock fall phenomenon with rock block detachment and trajectories of blocks along the slope is investigated. Two case studies of high, steep, and jointed limestone rock cliffs in Italy, characterized by the presence of rock volumes of different shape and size, in limit equilibrium conditions, are described. In both cases, the studies undertaken for analyzing the stability conditions are presented, together with the kinematic simulations of the rock falls down slope, and the stabilization measures (active and passive measures) implemented. In one case in particular, Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) is adopted to obtain a high-resolution 3D Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the rock mass.

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