Articles | Volume 19, issue 5
Research article
27 May 2019
Research article |  | 27 May 2019

Significance of substrate soil moisture content for rockfall hazard assessment

Louise Mary Vick, Valerie Zimmer, Christopher White, Chris Massey, and Tim Davies

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Cited articles

Azzoni, A. and de Freitas, M. H.: Experimentally gained parameters, decisive for rock fall analysis, Rock Mech. Rock Eng., 28, 111–124,, 1995. 
Bannister, S. and Gledhill, K.: Evolution of the 2010–2012 Canterbury earthquake sequence, New Zeal. J. Geol. Geop., 55, 295–304,, 2012. 
Bartelt, P., Bieler, C., Bühler, Y., Christen, M., Christen, M., Dreier, L., Gerber, W., Glover, J., Schneider, M., Glocker, C., Leine, R., and Schweizer, A.: RAMMS::ROCKFALL User Manual v1.6., available at: (last access: 11 January 2019), 2016. 
Beavan, J., Fielding, E., Motagh, M., Samsonov, S., and Donnelly, N.: Fault Location and Slip Distribution of the 22 February 2011 Mw 6.2 Christchurch, New Zealand, Earthquake from Geodetic Data, Seismol. Res. Lett., 82, 789–799,, 2011. 
Bell, D. H. and Crampton, N. A.: Panel report: Engineering geological evaluation of tunnelling conditions, Lyttelton-Woolston LPG Project, Christchurch, New Zealand, in 5th International Congress of the International Association of Engineering Geology, AA Balkema, Buenos Aires, 2485–2502, 1986. 
Short summary
Rockfall boulders can travel long distances downslope, and it is important to predict how far fatalities can be prevented. A comparison of earthquake data from New Zealand during summer and full-scale rockfall experiments in the same soil during winter shows that during dry seasons boulders travel further downslope because the soil is harder. When using predictive tools, engineers and geologists should take soil conditions (and seasonal variations thereof) into account.
Final-revised paper