Faculté des sciences

State of the art in rockfall – forest interactions

Dorren, Luuk ; Berger, Frédéric ; Jonsson, Martin J. ; Krautblatter, Michael ; Mölk, Michael ; Stoffel, Markus ; Wehrli, André

In: Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen, 2007, vol. 158, no. 6, p. 128-141

To effectively prevent rockfall related disasters below forested slopes, silvicultural, eco-engineering, civil engineering or mixed techniques can be used. To do this in a cost-efficient manner it is necessary to know the following: 1) where rockfall events occur and which magnitudes are likely, 2) to what extent the forest reduces the run-out distances, the jump heights and the energies of rocks... Plus

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    Summary
    To effectively prevent rockfall related disasters below forested slopes, silvicultural, eco-engineering, civil engineering or mixed techniques can be used. To do this in a cost-efficient manner it is necessary to know the following: 1) where rockfall events occur and which magnitudes are likely, 2) to what extent the forest reduces the run-out distances, the jump heights and the energies of rocks falling downslope, and 3) how the protective function of forests could be improved. This paper gives an overview of the current scientific knowledge and methods that are applied by practitioners who deal with rockfall and forests protecting against it. Efficient ways to derive information on the probable magnitude and frequency of future rockfall events from the source and deposit area are described. Subsequently, the scientific knowledge on the energy absorption capacity of single trees and the currently available knowledge on the protective function of forest stands against rockfall are presented. Then easy-to-use tools and simulation models for rockfall hazard assessment on forested slopes are described. Finally, this paper identifies the most important challenges to be tackled in the field of integrated rockfall-forest research.