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National Park Service - Mesa Verde National Park

Geologic assessment provides recommendations for rock fall hazard mitigation for archaeological sites.
  • Geologic assessment provides rock fall hazard mitigation suggestions for archaeological cliff alcove sites--Gannett Fleming

    Ruin 16 scored as high risk of rock fall based on its erosional features and moderate exposure to the wildfire.

Client
National Park Service

Location
Arizona, Colorado, and Utah

Our Role
Geologic Assessment.

Data
Completed
2004
Outcomes
  • Evaluation of wildfire effects on cliff alcoves in Mesa Verde National Park
  • Geologic assessment and recommendations for rock fall hazard mitigation
  • Results include hazard description, hazard rating, and photo documentation.

Similar to many of the western national parks and forests that experienced fires during the summer of 2000, Mesa Verde National Park, located in southwestern Colorado, experienced a lightning strike caused wildfire, the Pony Fire. This fire burned 1,322 acres including hundreds of archaeological sites scattered throughout the park.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming provided an evaluation and geologic hazard assessment of unstable rock masses for 20 cliff alcove sites on Wetherill Mesa in the Mesa Verde National Park Pony Fire Area. Services included development of an assessment approach, review of existing data, field assessment, analysis of field data, evaluation of potential failure modes, and development of recommendations for stabilization and remedial treatment.

Specific services for the geologic hazard assessment included developing a systematic inventory of the geologic hazards affecting the alcoves, field inspecting selected alcove sites via helicopter access, assessing geologic hazards, characterizing wildlife impacts on rock mass stability, and providing recommendations for hazard abatement. Results of the assessments for the initial 20 sites were provided, including hazard description, numerical hazard rating, photo documentation, and recommendations for rock fall hazard abatement and/or monitoring at each site.

Key Features

  • Unstable rock masses evaluation of alcove dwelling sites 
  • Assessment and systematic inventory of the geologic hazards affecting the alcoves 
  • Provided recommendations for hazard abatement.

Similar Projects: Federal: Environmental, Federal, Geotechnical: Geologic Hazards, Geotechnical: Site Evaluation