Remedial Measures and Modeling of Rockfall Problems along Part of a Mountainous Road, Western Saudi Arabia
Bahaaeldin Sadagah
Prof. Bahaaeldin Sadagah, Department of Engineering and Environmental Geology, King Abdulaziz University/ Faculty of Earth Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Manuscript received on May 05, 2014. | Revised Manuscript received on May 11, 2014. | Manuscript published on May 15, 2014. | PP: 23-29 | Volume-2 Issue-6, May 2014. | Retrieval Number: F0673052614/2014©BEIESP
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Abstract: Construction and support of mountain roads at western Saudi Arabia are always difficult tasks, where the rock masses are inhomogeneous, high-elevation, highly fractured, structurally-controlled steep slopes, sharp cliffs, and occupied by geomorphological restrictions. Al-Hada mountain road of almost 22 km long shows many incidents of rockfalls and slope failures. The rock masses along the descent are medium quality igneous rocks such as: granite, granodiorite, and gabbro. A studied section of a mountain road lies along a man-made and natural sharp slope face cut suffers from rockfall’s incidents, mainly in rainy seasons. The 40 m-height rock slope-cut along the road is unsupported. The steep man-made rock slope cut is very close to the road, forming a potential source area for rockfalls. The RocFall computer program was utilized to perform modeling and mitigation on the rock slope. Input parameters such as: block size, seeder point’s locations of block’s seeder points, slope angle, restitution coefficients, and slope roughness were studied to model the fallen rock blocks characteristics such as: end-point, bounce height, kinetic energies, and translational and rotational velocities along the slope and the road. The remedial measures such as rockfall barriers were proposed to prevent rockfalls from reaching the road.
Keywords: Mountainous road, rainfalls, rockfalls, rock slopes.