Rockfall monitoring of alpine north flanks


Long-term seismic monitoring of rockfall activity of alpine north-flanks using the free hardware design data logger Ruwai and the free software psysmon.

SeisRockHT aims at the establishment of two seismic networks to quantitatively observe seismicity and rockfall events at high alpine north faces. Two study sites in the Austrian Alps were selected for monitoring: the Kitzsteinhorn and the Hoher Sonnblick exhibiting two different scales of the monitoring networks. The smaller scaled Kitzsteinhorn investigation site is closely related to bedrock permafrost processes, whereas the larger-scaled Sonnblick investigation site aims at a classic alpine north face.

The stations of both networks will be equipped with the Ruwai data recorder and for data processing the software psysmon will be used. One goal is to proof the operation of a reliable seismic monitoring network producing data meeting the needs of scientific data analysis by using free design hardware and free software.

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The project started October, 2014 and is still running.

Within the project I have the followxing responsibilies:

  • Leader of one workpackage.
  • Development of the Ruwai data logger for deployment in alpine environment.
  • Software development for the processing of the seismic monitoring data.

The aims by Mertl Research for this project are:

  1. Installation of two long-term seismic monitoring sites by means of open hardware and free software in the Austrian Alps.
  2. Evaluation of temporal and spatial ambient seismic noise characteristics.
  3. Compilation of a catalogue of characteristic seismic events registered at the two sites.
  4. Determination of seismic characteristics of rockfall events.

For this project I have the following cooperation partners:

Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
ZAMG leads the project.

Georesearch Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Georesearch provides regular terrestial laser scans of the studied north faces and is the connection point to the MOREXPERT II project of AlpS which runs a long-term monitoring of the surface-, subsurface- and athmosperic conditions at Kitzsteinhorn.

This project is supported by:

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