Abstract

Construction of mountain roads at north westerly Saudi Arabia is a difficult task in rugged terrains, where the rock masses are steep slopes, and full of geomorphological constraints.

Werka descent lies at the north west region of Saudi Arabia. The Werka descent, constructed four years ago harmed due to rainstorm. The rock masses are metabasalt and metaryolite tuff rocks. The road is eight m-wide, surround by unsupported sharp manmade slope cuts, reaches up to 15 to 40 m height on both sides. Failures took place at both sides of the road, and blocked it. The road of almost 2 km long subjected to all modes of slope instability such as rockfalls, manmade slope failures and debris flows in the absence of the remedial measures. The very precipitous 40 m-high rock slope-cut along the road has no benches, backed by a natural slope of almost 80 m height. Both types of slopes suffer from rockfalls and slope failure's incidents, frequently took place mainly in rainy seasons. The steep manmade rock slope cut is less than 1 m close to the road, with no ditches, form a potentially source area for rockfall's hazards.

Intensive geotechnical study includes utilization of the RMR and GSI rock masses classifications indicates that the rocks are fair to poor quality. The DIPS, RocFall, Swedge, RocTopple, RocPlane computer program, in addition to GIS and DEM image utilized to perform modeling and deterministic analysis, in order to suggest the mitigation measures for the natural and manmade slope cuts and rockfalls. The seismic coefficients of 0.1 to 0.4 taken into consideration in modeling processes. Input parameters to model the rockfalls and slope failure's characteristics were studied such as GSI, block size; seeder points, locations of fallen blocks; slope angle, restitution coefficients, and slope roughness. The programs modeled the proposed location, height and energy of the rockfall barriers, collectors, and rock bolts. Two manmade slope cuts studied and modeled utilizing the integrated techniques were to eliminate the risk of slope failures and rockfalls through the construction of remedial measures, this is the study objectives.

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