31 Jul 2023
 | 31 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Optimization strategy for flexible barrier structures: Investigation and back analysis of a rockfall disaster case in southwestern China

Li-Ru Luo, Zhi-Xiang Yu, Qi Wang, Li-Jun Zhang, Lin-Xu Liao, and Li Peng

Abstract. Field investigations and back analyses were conducted on a rockfall hazard. The flexible barrier protection system constructed along the roadside got damaged by the rockfall impact and lost its ability to mitigate. Vital physical characteristics like rockfall trajectory and kinetic energy were presumed based on the data from an aerial survey and the slope digital model. A numerical model, including slope, rockfalls, and flexible barrier, was created, so the impacting process was reproduced. It demonstrates that the rockfall’s impact kinetic energy is only around 40 % of its design protection energy. The improper connections of members are the leading causes of damage, which prevent the flexible barrier from producing significant deformation and reduce its capacity to absorb impact force. The damage can be avoided by changing the members’ connections to improve the nets’ and ropes’ ability to slide and deform. The calculation results indicate that the optimized model’s performance in terms of complete protection is three times better than the actual project’s. The findings can be used as a guide when designing a flexible protection system that performs better.

Li-Ru Luo et al.

Status: open (until 02 Nov 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on nhess-2023-136', Yaopeng Liu, 19 Sep 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Zhi-xiang Yu, 19 Sep 2023 reply
  • CC2: 'Comment on nhess-2023-136', Jianwei He, 20 Sep 2023 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC2', Zhi-xiang Yu, 21 Sep 2023 reply

Li-Ru Luo et al.

Li-Ru Luo et al.


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Short summary
Field investigations were done on a rockfall near Jiguanshan National Forest Park, Chengdu. Vital information was presumed from UAV survey. A FEM model, including the barrier and rocks, was created to reproduce the damage evolution. It was found that the impact kinetic energy was below the design protection energy. The improper member connections prevent the barrier from producing significant deformation to absorb energy. Damages are avoided by improving the nets’ and ropes’ ability to slide.