This work addresses the integrated assessment of rockfall (including landslides) hazards and risk for S301, Z120, and Z128 highways, which are important transportation corridors to the world heritage site Jiuzhai Valley National Park in Sichuan, China. The highways are severely threatened by rockfalls or landslide events after the 2017 Ms 7.0 Jiuzhaigou earthquake. Field survey (September 14–18th, 2017, May 15–20th, 2018, and September 9–17th, 2018), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and satellite image identified high-relief rockfalls and road construction rockfalls or landslides along the highway. Rockfall hazard is qualitatively evaluated using block count, velocity, and flying height through a 3D rockfall simulation at local and regional scales. Rockfall risk is quantitatively assessed with rockfall event probability, propagation probability, spatial probability, and vulnerability for different block volume classes. Approximately 21.5%, 20.5%, and 5.3% of the road mileage was found to be subject to an unacceptable (UA) risk class for vehicles along S301, Z120, and Z128 highways, respectively. Approximately 20.1% and 3.3% of the road mileage belong to the UA risk class for tourists along Z120 and Z128 highways, respectively. Results highlighted that high-relief rockfall events were intensively located at K50 to K55 (Guanmenzi to Ganheba) and K70 to K72 (Jiudaoguai to Shangsizhai Village) road mileages along S301 highway and KZ18 to KZ22 (Five Flower Lake to Arrow Bamboo Lake) road mileages, KZ30 (Swan Lake to Virgin Forests), and KY10.5 kilometers in Jiuzhai Valley. Rockfalls in these locations were classified under the UA risk class and medium to very high hazard index. Road construction rockfalls were located at K67 (Jiuzhai Paradise) and K75–K76 kilometers along S301 highway and KZ12 to KZ14 (Rhino Lake to Nuorilang Waterfall), KZ16.5 to KZ17.5 (Golden Bell Lake), KY5 (Lower Seasonal Lake), and KY14 (Upper Seasonal Lake) kilometers along Z120 and Z128 highway in Jiuzhai Valley. Rockfalls in these areas were within a reasonable practicable risk to UA risk class and very low to medium hazard index. Finally, defensive measures, including flexible nets, concrete walls, and artificial tunnels, could be selected appropriately on the basis of the rockfall hazard index and risk class. This study revealed the integration between qualitative rockfall hazard assessment and quantitative rockfall risk assessment, which is crucial in studying rockfall prevention and mitigation.
Rockfall Hazard assessment Risk assessment 3D simulation model Highway Jiuzhaigou earthquake
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The present work was supported by research funds awarded by the Key Research & Development Program of Sichuan Province (No. 2017SZYZF0008, No. 2019YFS0489). The authors thank the MA Guoxin from Science and Technology Bureau of Jiuzhaigou County for kind support in the field. The authors thank the official editors and three anonymous reviewers for their critical comments and valuable suggestion.
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