Advertisement

Quantitative relationship between weather seasonality and rock fall occurrences north of Hope, BC, Canada

  • Christopher Pratt
  • Renato MacciottaEmail author
  • Michael Hendry
Case History

Abstract

The relationship between rock falls and weather conditions has been widely recognized and attempts have been made to develop weather-based approaches for rock fall hazard management. This dependency of rock fall occurrences on weather suggests that rock fall trends and their associated risks will vary following climatic changes. In this regard, tools that quantify the relationship of weather seasonality and climate with rock fall trends provide an opportunity to forward model potential variations in rock fall trends considering diverse climate scenarios. This paper illustrates the application of one such tool along a section of a transportation corridor through the Canadian Cordillera. von Mises probability distributions are fitted to monthly trends of precipitation and freeze–thaw cycles and combined to develop a probability density model of rock fall occurrences. The methodology is outlined in detail and the model shown to fit the rock fall database with a correlation coefficient of 0.97. Further, the paper discusses limitations of the approach and potential opportunities for improvement, encouraging the use of the method at other sites and building a robust case study database for further enhancement of the approach.

Keywords

Rock falls Weather seasonality Triggers von Mises distribution 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) for providing the data that made this study possible. This research was made possible by the (Canadian) Railway Ground Hazard Research Program.

References

  1. Baecher GB, Christian JT (2003) Reliability and statistics in geotechnical engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex, 605 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Bentley J (2006) Modelling circular data using a mixture of von Mises and uniform distributions. Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University. A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of ScienceGoogle Scholar
  3. Bunce CM, Cruden DM, Morgenstern NR (1997) Assessment of the hazard from rock fall on a highway. Can Geotech J 34:344–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bush EJ (2015) Plenary 2: climate change in Canada: observations and projected changes. In: Proceedings of Mine Water Solutions in Extreme Environments, Vancouver, Canada, April 2015, pp 6–19Google Scholar
  5. Bush EJ, Loder JW, James TS, Mortsch LD, Cohen SJ (2014) An overview of Canada’s changing climate. In: Warren FJ, Lemmen DS (ed) Canada in a changing climate: sector perspectives on impacts and adaptation. Government of Canada, Ottawa, pp 23–64Google Scholar
  6. Cloutier C, Locat J, Geerstema M, Jakob M, Schnorbus M (2017) Potential impacts of climate change on landslides occurrence in Canada. In: Ho K, Lacasse S, Picarelli L (eds) Slope safety preparedness for impact of climate change. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 71–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coe JA (2017) Landslide hazards and climate change: a perspective from the United States. In: Ho K, Lacasse S, Picarelli L (eds) Slope safety preparedness for impact of climate change. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 479–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Delonca A, Gunzburger Y, Verdel T (2014) Statistical correlation between meteorological and rockfall databases. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 14:1953–1964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Douglas GR (1980) Magnitude frequency study of rockfall in Co. Antrim, N. Ireland. Earth Surf Process 5:123–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Environment Canada (2017) Government of Canada, Meteorological Service of Canada. http://climate.weather.gc.ca. Accessed June 2017
  11. Evans SG, Hungr O (1993) The assessment of rockfall hazard at the base of talus slopes. Can Geotech J 30:620–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frayssines M, Hantz D (2006) Failure mechanisms and triggering factors in calcareous cliffs of the Subalpine Ranges (French Alps). Eng Geol 86:256–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Higgins JD, Andrew RD (2012) Rockfall types and causes. In: Turner AK, Schuster RL (ed) Rockfall characterization and control. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 21–55Google Scholar
  14. Ho KKS, Lacasse S, Picarelli L (2017) Preparedness for climate change impact on slope safety. In: Ho K, Lacasse S, Picarelli L (eds) Slope safety preparedness for impact of climate change. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 104–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hungr O, Evans SG, Hazzard J (1999) Magnitude and frequency of rock falls and rock slides along the main transportation corridors of southwestern British Columbia. Can Geotech J 36:224–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kromer RA, Hutchinson DJ, Lato MJ, Gauthier D, Edwards T (2015) Identifying rock slope failure precursors using LiDAR for transportation corridor hazard management. Eng Geol 195(C):93–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lan H, Martin CD, Zhou C, Lim CH (2010) Rockfall hazard analysis using LiDAR and spatial modeling. Geomorphology 118:213–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lark RM, Clifford D, Waters CN (2014) Modelling complex geological circular data with the projected normal distribution and mixtures of von Mises distributions. Solid Earth 5(2):631–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lato MJ, Diederichs MS, Hutchinson DJ, Harrap R (2012) Evaluating roadside rockmasses for rockfall hazards using LiDAR data: optimizing data collection and processing protocols. Nat Hazards 60(3):831–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Logan T, Charron I, Chaumont D, Houle D (2011) Atlas de scénarios climatiques pour la forêt québécoise. Ouranos, Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF). Available from: http://www.ouranos.ca/media/publication. Accessed 10 June 2018
  21. Luckman BH (1976) Rockfalls and rockfall inventory data: Some observations from surprise valley, Jasper National Park, Canada. Earth Surf Process 1:287–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Macciotta R, Hendry MT (2017) Rock falls – a deterministic process with nonlinear behavior? In: De Graff JV, Shakoor A (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd North American Symposium on Landslides, Roanoke, Virginia, June 2017, pp 597–606Google Scholar
  23. Macciotta R, Martin CD (2013) Role of 3D topography in rock fall trajectories and model sensitivity to input parameters. In: Pyrak-Nolte LJ, Chan A, Dershowitz W, Morris J, Rostami J (eds) Proceedings of the 47th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, California, June 2013, pp 1–9Google Scholar
  24. Macciotta R, Cruden DM, Martin CD, Morgenstern NR (2011) Combining geology, morphology and 3D modelling to understand the rock fall distribution along the railways in the Fraser River Valley, between Hope and Boston Bar. In: Eberhardt E, Stead D (eds) Slope Stability 2011: Proceedings of the 2011 International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Vancouver, Canada, September 2011. Canadian Rock Mechanics Association (CARMA), VancouverGoogle Scholar
  25. Macciotta R, Cruden DM, Martin CD, Morgenstern NR, Petrov M (2013) Spatial and temporal aspects of slope hazards along a railroad corridor in the Canadian Cordillera. In: Dight P (ed) Slope Stability 2013: Proceedings of the 2013 International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, September 2013, pp 1171–1186Google Scholar
  26. Macciotta R, Martin CD, Cruden DM (2015a) Probabilistic estimation of rockfall height and kinetic energy based on a three-dimensional trajectory model and Monte Carlo simulation. Landslides 12(4):757–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Macciotta R, Martin CD, Edwards T, Cruden DM, Keegan T (2015b) Quantifying weather conditions for rock fall hazard management. Georisk 9(3):171–186Google Scholar
  28. Macciotta R, Martin CD, Morgenstern NR, Cruden DM (2016) Quantitative risk assessment of slope hazards along a section of railway in the Canadian Cordillera—a methodology considering the uncertainty in the results. Landslides 13(1):115–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Macciotta R, Martin CD, Cruden DM, Hendry M, Edwards T (2017a) Rock fall hazard control along a section of railway based on quantified risk. Georisk 11(3):272–284Google Scholar
  30. Macciotta R, Hendry M, Cruden DM, Blais-Stevens A, Edwards T (2017b) Quantifying rock fall probabilities and their temporal distribution associated with weather seasonality. Landslides 14(6):2025–2039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mardia KV (1972) Statistics of directional data. Academic Press, London, 357 ppGoogle Scholar
  32. McTaggart KC, Thompson RM (1967) Geology of part of the northern Cascades in southern British Columbia. Can J Earth Sci 4:1199–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Monger JWH (1970) Hope map-area, west half, British Columbia, paper 69-47. Geological Survey of Canada, Department of Energy, Mines and ResourcesGoogle Scholar
  34. Paranunzio R, Laio F, Nigrelli G, Chiarle M (2015) A method to reveal climatic variables triggering slope failures at high elevation. Nat Hazards 76:1039–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Paranunzio R, Laio F, Chiarle M, Nigrelli G, Guzzetti F (2016) Climate anomalies associated with the occurrence of rockfalls at high-elevation in the Italian Alps. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 16:2085–2106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Peckover FL, Kerr JWG (1977) Treatment and maintenance of rock slopes on transportation routes. Can Geotech J 14(4):487–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pierson LA, Davis SA, VanVickle R (1990) Rockfall Hazard Rating System: implementation manual. FHWA report FHWA-OR-EG-90-01. FHWA, U.S. Department of TransportationGoogle Scholar
  38. Piteau DR (1977) Regional slope stability controls and engineering geology of the Fraser Canyon, British Columbia. Rev Eng Geol 3:85–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ravanel L, Deline P (2011) Climate influence on rockfalls in high-Alpine steep rockwalls: the north side of the Aiguilles de Chamonix (Mont Blanc massif) since the end of the ‘Little Ice Age’. Holocene 21(2):357–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ravanel L, Deline P (2015) Rockfall hazard in the Mont Blanc massif increased by the current atmospheric warming. In: Lollino G, Manconi A, Clague J, Shan W, Chiarle M (eds) Engineering geology for society and territory, vol 1. Climate change and engineering geology. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, pp 425–428Google Scholar
  41. Rodriguez JL, Macciotta R, Hendry M, Edwards T, Evans T (2017) Slope hazards and risk engineering in the Canadian railway network through the Cordillera. In: DellAcqua G, Wegman F (eds) Proceedings of the AIIT International Congress on Transport Infrastructure and Systems (TIS 2017), Rome, Italy, April 2017, pp 163–168Google Scholar
  42. van Veen M, Hutchinson DJ, Kromer R, Lato M, Edwards T (2017) Effects of sampling interval on the frequency–magnitude relationship of rockfalls detected from terrestrial laser scanning using semi-automated methods. Landslides 14(5):1579–1592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wieczorek GF, Jäger S (1996) Triggering mechanisms and depositional rates of postglacial slope-movement processes in the Yosemite Valley, California. Geomorphology 15:17–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yavuz H (2010) Effect of freeze–thaw and thermal shock weathering on the physical and mechanical properties of an andesite stone. Bull Eng Geol Environ 70(2):187–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Donadeo Innovation Centre for EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management, 12-324 Donadeo Innovation Centre for EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 6-263 Donadeo Innovation Centre for EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations