Rating Rockfall Hazard in Tennessee
Cain, Samuel Franklin
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Rockfall from rock slopes adjacent to roadways is a major hazard and poses a problem for transportation agencies across the country. The state of Tennessee has implemented the Tennessee Rockfall Management System (RMS) as a means of reducing the liabilities associated with rockfall hazard. It utilizes digital data acquisition via PDAs coupled with distribution via an expandable web-based GIS database. The Tennessee Rockfall Hazard Rating System (RHRS) is part of the Tennessee RMS and assigns a numeric hazard rating according relative hazard for all slopes identified as having a high potential for delivering rock blocks onto Tennessee Department of Transportation maintained roadways. The Tennessee RHRS uses standard rock slope failure mechanisms (planar failure, wedge failure, topple failure, differential weathering, and raveling) along with the site and roadway geometry to assess the rockfall hazard of an individual slope. This study suggests methods that will expedite fieldwork, including an informational guide on how to properly identify individual failure mechanisms in the field. Also, the study examines the current method of scoring abundance and suggests an alternative, multiplicative approach. The alternative of using a multiplicative abundance is considered and its results summarized.
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