A Novel Approach to Assess the Ability of a Protection Barrier to Mitigate Rockfall Hazard

David TOE, Alessio MENTANI, Stéphane LAMBERT, Laura GOVONI, Guido GOTTARDI and Franck BOURRIER

The paper presents a novel approach to assess the ability of a protection barrier to mitigate rockfall hazard. Using a meta-modeling approach, a simplified model of a widely used type of rockfall protection barrier was developed to predict the barrier capability to stop the block. A meta-model was created based on FE simulation results considering six input parameters relevant for the wide variety of impact conditions observed on natural sites. The meta-model was then used in combination with a rockfall trajectory simulation tool to evaluate the efficiency of the barrier to mitigate rockfall hazard for two real cases. The results of the study reveal that the meta-model is effective to accurately predict the response of the barrier for different impact conditions. In addition, the coupling of the meta-model with a rockfall trajectory simulation tool provides a better assessment of the barrier efficiency compared to classical design guidelines as it accounts for the distribution of the various parameters describing the block incident trajectory. This approach appears promising to improve rockfall quantitative hazard assessment and optimize rockfall mitigation strategies.

2018/1 249-257