Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geological Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Thomas Oommen


Stanley Vitton


Rockfall hazards are a significant and ongoing threat to infrastructure located within steep terrain. Assessing the relative hazard along a transportation corridor is important in determining the likely location and mode of rock slope failure. Understanding where to focus attention and funds is vital for the infrastructure agencies because of the high cost of implementing preventative measures for long lengths of infrastructure. Hazard analysis has historically relied upon experienced field engineers assessing each site, which is not time or cost effective. This study focuses on using remote sensing techniques to analyze rock slopes along transportation corridors. A case study from Southern Nevada is presented with several failing rock slopes along a railroad line. The analysis uses Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), ortho-photos, and high resolution remote sensing data to analyze individual rock slopes with a risk of failure. The rockfall hazard is measured using the Rockfall Hazard Rating System (RHRS) method, while the rock mass strength is measured using the Slope Mass Rating (SMR) method. A workflow is developed that can be immediately implemented by transportation agencies for use in maintenance programs.

Included in

Geology Commons