Abstract

Frequent wedge failure rock slides along Interstate 40 between Hartford, Tennessee, and the Tennessee/North Carolina state line have led to traffic flow disruption, expensive clearing efforts, and extensive corrective measures. Because previous studies have not critically examined the influence of meteorological events on wedge failures, this study investigates the relationship between wedge failure events and precipitation and temperature conditions. Wedge failures near Hartford, Tennessee, conform to geometric dimensions determined to cause failure in other regions. After the plunge line is exposed by highway construction, precipitation is the primary active cause of failure for the Hartford area slides. The role of precipitation, however, is too complex, variable, and site-specific to be expressed in simple cause and effect terms, so we model it schematically. Continuing efforts to monitor, quantify, and record the conditions of failure will help predict the circumstances conducive to failures in this region.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-6929
Print ISSN
0038-366X
Pages
pp. 54-66
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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