Journal article

New Cadanav methodology for quantitative rock fall hazard assessment and zoning at the local scale

Rock fall hazard zoning is a challenging yet necessary task to be accomplished for planning an appropriate land use in mountainous areas. Methodologies currently adopted for elaborating zoning maps do not provide satisfactory results though, due to uncertainties and related assumptions characterising hazard assessment. The new Cadanav methodology, presented in this paper, aims at improving quantitative hazard assessment and zoning at the local scale, by reducing uncertainties mainly related to the technique for combining rock fall intensity and frequency of occurrence. Starting from available information on rock fall failure frequency and trajectory simulation results, the procedure merges in a strict way temporal frequency, probability of reach and energy data and evaluates the hazard degree by means of “hazard curves”. These curves are described at each point of the slope by a series of energy–return period couples representing the hazardous conditions which may possibly affect that location. The new Cadanav methodology is here detailed and compared to its original version. Hazard zoning results are illustrated along two different 2D slope profiles, for linear homogeneous cliff configurations, and according to the Swiss intensity–frequency diagram for rock fall hazard zoning. However, the procedure can be easily used with any other intensity–frequency diagram prescribed in national guidelines and, additionally, extended to problems involving 3D topographies.

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