Slope ALARMS: Road
Peace River, Alberta, Canada

Development partners
Thurber Engineering
Queen’s University
Alberta Transportation

A rotational landslide in May 2013 - triggered by excessive rainfall - severely damaged a significant section of highway 744.

Two active waveguides and associated Slope ALARMS sensors have been installed in an adjacent active landslide further up-slope of this recent major failure.

There is concern that a major event may occur at this location, which would cut the important highway.

The installation is part of a collaborative monitoring program with Thurber Engineering, Queen’s University and Alberta Transportation.

Progress and impact

The slope sits on the crest of the hill, and Heart River and Peace River lie down-slope on either side.

The landslides that occupy this slope have a history of annual movement. Slope stabilisation through installation of piled walls has been carried out in some sections to protect the road at the crest.

In July 2013, Slope ALARMS sensors were installed in an upper section, and continuous real-time monitoring of acoustic emission continues to the present day. 

Comparison of measured slope behaviour has demonstrated comparable trends between AE rates and displacement rates, which have been detected as slow as 0.01 mm per day.

Published papers

Berg N, Smith A, Russell S, Dixon N, Proudfoot D and Take A (2018) Correlation of acoustic emissions with patterns of movement in an extremely slow-moving landslide at Peace River, Alberta, Canada. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. DOI: 10.1139/cgj-2016-0668.

Smith A, Dixon N, Berg N, Take A and Proudfoot D (2014c) Listening for Landslides: Method, Measurements and the Peace River Case Study. Geohazards 6. Ontario, 1-10.