In this research, we present a new approach to define the distribution of block volumes during rockfall simulations. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are utilized to generate high-accuracy 3D models of the inaccessible SW flank of the Mount Rava (Italy), to provide improved definition of data gathered from conventional geomechanical surveys and to also denote important changes in the fracture intensity. These changes are likely related to the variation of the bedding thickness and to the presence of fracture corridors in fault damage zones in some areas of the slope. The dataset obtained integrating UAV and conventional surveys is then utilized to create and validate two accurate 3D discrete fracture network models, representative of high and low fracture intensity areas, respectively. From these, the ranges of block volumes characterizing the in situ rock mass are extracted, providing important input for rockfall simulations. Initially, rockfall simulations were performed assuming a uniform block volume variation for each release cell. However, subsequent simulations used a more realistic nonuniform distribution of block volumes, based on the relative block volume frequency extracted from discrete fracture network (DFN) models. The results of the simulations were validated against recent rockfall events and show that it is possible to integrate into rockfall simulations a more realistic relative frequency distribution of block volumes using the results of DFN analyses. © 2020 by the authors.

Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Data and Discrete Fracture Network Models for Improved Rockfall Simulations

Mirko Francioni
;
Nicola Sciarra;Fernando Calamita
2020-01-01

Abstract

In this research, we present a new approach to define the distribution of block volumes during rockfall simulations. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are utilized to generate high-accuracy 3D models of the inaccessible SW flank of the Mount Rava (Italy), to provide improved definition of data gathered from conventional geomechanical surveys and to also denote important changes in the fracture intensity. These changes are likely related to the variation of the bedding thickness and to the presence of fracture corridors in fault damage zones in some areas of the slope. The dataset obtained integrating UAV and conventional surveys is then utilized to create and validate two accurate 3D discrete fracture network models, representative of high and low fracture intensity areas, respectively. From these, the ranges of block volumes characterizing the in situ rock mass are extracted, providing important input for rockfall simulations. Initially, rockfall simulations were performed assuming a uniform block volume variation for each release cell. However, subsequent simulations used a more realistic nonuniform distribution of block volumes, based on the relative block volume frequency extracted from discrete fracture network (DFN) models. The results of the simulations were validated against recent rockfall events and show that it is possible to integrate into rockfall simulations a more realistic relative frequency distribution of block volumes using the results of DFN analyses. © 2020 by the authors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/740580
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