Determination of the rockfall source in an urban settlement area by using a rule-based fuzzy evaluation

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AKSOY H. H., Ercanoglu M.

NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES, vol.6, no.6, pp.941-954, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The evaluation of the rockfall initiation mechanism and the simulation of the runout behavior is an important issue in the prevention and remedial measures for potential rockfall hazards in highway protection, in forest preservation, and especially in urban settlement areas. In most of the studies in the literature, the extent of the rockfall hazard was determined by various techniques basing on the selection of a rockfall source, generally defined as zones of rock bodies having slope angles higher than a certain value, proposed by general practice. In the present study, it was aimed to carry out a rule-based fuzzy analysis on the discontinuity data of andesites in the city of Ankara, Turkey, in order to bring a different and rather systematic approach to determine the source areas for rockfall hazard in an urban settlement, based on the discontinuity and natural slope features. First, to obtain rock source areas (RSAs), data obtained from the field studies were combined with a rule-based fuzzy evaluation, incorporating the altitude difference, the number of discontinuities, the number of wedges and the number of potential slides as the parameters of the fuzzy sets. After processing the outputs of the rule-based fuzzy system and producing the linguistic definitions, it could be possible to obtain potential RSAs. According to the RSA maps, 1.7% of the study area was found to have "high RSA", and 5.8% of the study area was assigned as "medium RSA". Then, potential rockfall hazard map was prepared. At the final stage, based upon the high and medium RSAs, 3.6% of the study area showed "high rockfall potential", while areal distribution of "medium rockfall potential" was found as 7.9%. Both RSA and potential rockfall hazard map were in accordance with the observations performed in the field.