The Antrim Coast Road stretching from the seaport of Larne in the East of Northern Ireland has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most spectacular roads in Europe (Day, 2006). However the problematic geology; Jurassic Lias Clay and Triassic Mudstone overlain by Cretaceous Limestone and Tertiary Basalt, and environmental variables result in frequent instances of slope instability manifested in both shallow debris flows and occasional massive rotational movements, creating a geotechnical risk to this highway. This paper describes how a variety of techniques are being used to both assess instability and monitor movement of these active slopes near one site at Straidkilly Point, Glenarm. An in-depth understanding of the geology was obtained via boreholes, resistivity surveys and laboratory testing. Environmental variables recorded by an on-site weather station were correlated with measured pore water pressure and soil moisture infiltration data. Terrestrial LiDAR (TLS), with surveys carried out on a bi-monthly basis allowed for the generation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of difference, highlighting areas of recent movement, accumulation and depletion. Morphology parameters were generated from the DEMs and include slope, curvature and multiple measures of roughness. Changes in the structure of the slope coupled with morphological parameters were characterised and linked to progressive failures from the temporal monitoring. In addition to TLS monitoring, Aerial LiDAR datasets were used for the spatio-morphological characterisation of the slope on a macro scale. A Differential Global Positioning System (dGPS) was also deployed on site to provide a real-time warning system for gross movements, which were also correlated with environmental conditions. Frequent electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys were also implemented to provide a better understanding of long-term changes in soil moisture and help to define the complex geology. The paper describes how the data obtained via a diverse range of methods has been combined to facilitate a more informed management regime of geotechnical risk by the Northern Ireland Roads Service.
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2013|
|Event||The 6th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure - Hong Kong, China|
Duration: 09 Dec 2013 → 11 Dec 2013
|Conference||The 6th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure|
|Period||09/12/2013 → 11/12/2013|