An acoustic emission landslide early warning system for communities in low-income and middle-income countries
journal contributionposted on 05.04.2018, 13:30 by Neil DixonNeil Dixon, Alister SmithAlister Smith, James FlintJames Flint, R. Khanna, Ben ClarkBen Clark, M. Andjelkovic
Early warning systems for slope instability are needed to alert users of accelerating slope deformation behaviour, enable evacuation of vulnerable people, and conduct timely repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure. Communities exposed to landslide risk in low- and middle-income countries seldom currently instrument and monitor slopes to provide a warning of instability because existing techniques are complex and prohibitively expensive. Research and field trials have demonstrated conclusively that acoustic emission (AE) monitoring can be an effective approach to detect accelerating slope movements and to subsequently communicate warnings to users. The objective of this study was to develop and assess a simple, robust, low-cost AE monitoring system to warn of incipient landslides, which can be widely deployed and operated by communities globally to help protect vulnerable people. This paper describes a novel AE measurement sensor that has been designed and developed with the cost constrained to a few hundred dollars (US). Results are presented from physical model experiments that demonstrate performance of the AE system in measuring accelerating deformation behaviour, with quantifiable relationships between AE and displacement rates. Exceedance of a pre-determined trigger level of AE can be used to communicate an alarm to users in order to alert them of a slope failure. Use of this EWS approach by communities worldwide would reduce the number of fatalities caused by landslides.
The research to develop and asses the Community Slope SAFE approach was funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through Loughborough University Institutional Sponsorship (EP/P510828/1) and a series of Enterprise Group Impact Acceleration Account awards. Smith gratefully acknowledges the support of an EPSRC Fellowship (EP/P012493/1).
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering