Authors: Ulivieri, G; Vezzosi, S; Farina, P; Meier, L

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Ulivieri, G, Vezzosi, S, Farina, P & Meier, L 2020, 'On the use of acoustic records for the automatic detection and early warning of rockfalls', in PM Dight (ed.), Slope Stability 2020: Proceedings of the 2020 International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1193-1202,

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Infrasonic array technology has been widely used in the last years for the automatic detection and warning of snow avalanches and operative applications exist in Switzerland, Norway and British Columbia. The authors are currently investigating the capabilities of such a technology for the detection of rockfalls and its use as an early warning system to manage the risk associated with the occurrence of those events along linear infrastructures, such as roads and railways, and in open pit mines. The scientific literature clearly shows infrasonic array technology has excellent potential for the detection of rock mass flows such as debris flow events, but it is scarce in the field of rockfalls where the seismic methodology dominates. A first experimental campaign has been carried out by the authors on a site in the Swiss Alps to collect the acoustic (seismic and infrasonic) signature of a significant number of rockfall events and precisely characterise the associated wavefield in terms of frequency content and amplitude. The acoustic recordings have been compared with independent information collected by a Doppler radar installed on the same site and used operationally to close the access to the road located at the bottom of the slope. This paper presents the preliminary results of the above-described experimental campaign.

Keywords: rockfalls, acoustic measurement, seismic, early warning system

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