vai al contenuto della pagina vai al menu di navigazione
 

Analysis of protection barriers for rockfall risk mitigation

Keywords: rockfall, risk mitigation, passive systems, physical modelling, FEM
Fig. 1. FE analysis of existing semi-rigid rockfall barriers (drawings by Govoni)
Fig. 2. Effects of the size of the impacting block on the structure response (drawings by Govoni, picture courtesy of PAB)

Within the context of rockfall risk mitigation, the research addresses the non-linear and dynamic response of falling rock protection barriers, metallic structures designed to intercept and stop block moving along an unstable slope.

The research group has been working on this topic for the last fifteen years focusing on both physical and numerical aspects of the phenomenon. Studies have first focused on full scale testing of flexible falling rock protection barriers characterised by high energy absorption capacities (from few hundreds to more than 5000 kJ). Tests were carried out at the test site located in Fonzaso, in Italy, thanks to the fruitful collaboration with the Consorzio Triveneto Rocciatori and the Officine Maccaferri. Results of these tests provided a rich database, which the research group has successfully used for the development of several non-linear and dynamic FE models. These numerical models, calibrated and assessed based on the experimental results has then led to the development of a general and efficient strategy for the numerical modelling of these structures. The strategy now enables to:

  1. Perform relevant analyses to investigate the response of these structures in any boundary impact condition as a tool to aid the design of both structures and intervention plans.
  2. Explore the response of these structures when damaged from a previous event.
  3. Investigate the response of other structures so far not adequately studied, as it now happens with structures with comparatively lower capacities (less than 200 kJ) (Fig. 1).
  4. Develop barriers meta-models of these structure response to be inserted within rockfall simulation tools for a reliable prediction of the structure on site effectiveness.

The research is carried out thanks to the following research collaboration

  • Autonomous Province of Bolzano
  • University of Newcastle and Centre of Geotechnical Science and Engineering (NSW, Australia, http://cgse.edu.au)
  • Université Grenoble Alpes, Irstea, UR ETGR and UR EMGR St-Martin-d'Hères (http://www.irstea.fr/linstitut/nos-centres/grenoble)

Main publications

Mentani, A., Giacomini, A., Buzzi, O., Govoni, L., Gottardi, G., Fityus, S.Numerical (2016) Modelling of a Low-Energy Rockfall Barrier: New Insight into the Bullet Effect Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Volume 49, pp. 1247-1262

Gottardi, G., Govoni, L., Mentani, A., Gentilini, C., Ubertini, F. (2014) Modelling for the design of passive protection measures against rock fall Physical Modelling in Geotechnics - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2014, ICPMG 2014, Volume 2, pp. 1179-1185

Laura, G., Strada, C. (2015) The role of rockfall protection barriers in the context of risk mitigation: The case of the autonomous province of Bolzano Engineering Geology for Society and Territory – Vol. 5: Urban Geology, Sustainable Planning and Landscape Exploitation, pp. 397-400

Gottardi G. and Govoni L. (2013). Modellazione e progetto di barriere paramassi, Hevelius Edizioni, Benevento

de Miranda, S., Gentilini, C., Gottardi, G., Govoni, L., Mentani, A., Ubertini, F. (2015) Virtual testing of existing semi-rigid rockfall protection barriers Source of the Document Engineering Structures, Engineering Structures Volume 85, February 05, 2015, pp. 83-94

Gentilini C., Govoni L., Gottardi G., Mentani A. and Ubertini F. (2013). Design of falling rock protection barriers using numerical models, Engineering Structures, Volume 50, pp. 96-106

Gentilini C., Govoni L., de Miranda S., Gottardi G. and Ubertini F. (2012). Three-dimensional numerical modelling of falling rock protection barriers, Computers and Geotechnics, Volume 44, pp. 58-72

Gottardi G., Govoni L., Ranalli M., Mentani A., Strada C. (2012) The role of falling rock protection barriers in the context of landslide risk analysis and mitigation, 12th Congress INTERPRAEVENT 2012, Grenoble, France, Volume 2, pp. 699-706 S.

de Miranda, C. Gentilini, G. Gottardi, L. Govoni, A. Mentani, F. Ubertini (2011). On the structural response of falling rock protection barriers, XX Congress AIMETA - Associazione Italiana di Meccanica Teorica e Applicata, 12-15 September 2011, Bologna, pp. 1-10

Gottardi G. and Govoni L. (2011). Modellazione e progetto di barriere paramassi. XXIV Convegno Nazionale di Geotecnica. Innovazione tecnologica nell’ingegneria geotecnica, Napoli, Volume 1, pp. 73-84

Gottardi G., Govoni L., Ranalli M., Mentani A. and Strada C (2011). The effectiveness of protection systems toward rockfall risk mitigation, Proc. 3rd International Symposium on Geotechnical Safety and Risk (ISGSR 2011), Munich, pp. 157- 164

Govoni L., de Miranda S., Gentilini C., Gottardi G. and Ubertini F. (2011). Two-dimensional modelling of falling rock protection barriers, In-ternational Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics Volume 11, Numero 4, pp. 126-137

Gottardi G. and Govoni L. (2010). Full scale modelling of falling rock protection barriers. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering 43 (3), 261-274

de Miranda S., Gentilini C., Gottardi G., Govoni L. and Ubertini F. (2010). A simple model to simulate the full-scale behaviour of falling rock protection barriers, 7th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG 2010), Zurich, Switzerland, Volume 2, pp. 1247- 1252

Research projects

Research and consulting contract with Consorzio Triveneto Rocciatori, Belluno, Italy (2006-2008). Investigation of the behaviour of falling rock protection barriers from the results of full-scale impact tests. Scientific Coordinator: Guido Gottardi.

Research and consulting contract with Officine Maccaferri, Bologna (2008-2009). Numerical modelling of the behaviour of falling rock protection barriers under full-scale impact tests. Scientific Coordinator: Guido Gottardi.

Research and consulting contract with Autonomous Province of Bolzano (2010-2012). Risk assessment and mitigation of the road network of the Provincia Autonoma of Bolzano. Scientific Coordinator: Guido Gottardi.