Risk Assessment Framework for Statistical Analysis of Cut Slopes Using Track Inspection Videos and Satellite Imagery

Michael Palese, Te Pei, Tong Qiu, Allan M. Zarembskia, Chaopeng Shen, Joseph W. Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Sidehill and through cuts are utilized in the construction of transportation corridors to optimize routes through mountainous and hilly terrain. Although the use of cuts increases the capabilities of transportation systems, their use comes with considerable risk. Primarily, rights-of-way sections that utilize cuts are susceptible to damage from mass wasting events such as shallow-rapid landslides and rockfalls. This study aimed to create a new slope stability risk framework for railroad cut sections by processing digital images of railroad rights-of-way recorded by inspection vehicles and related geophysical data. A geohazard-affected track section along the Harrisburg Line was used as the study area. Computer vision techniques were used to identify and quantify geohazard features that indicated slope instability. An object detection model based on deep learning was trained to detect these slope instability indicators and generate risk scores from rights-of-way inspection videos. Moreover, a landslide inventory was compiled, and a landslide susceptibility model was developed for the study area based on available geophysical data. The object detection model and the landslide susceptibility model were combined using a relative risk assessment framework to determine which sections were most at-risk of landslide, and results were compared with the railroad-identified geohazard sections across the study area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 345
StatePublished - 2023
EventGeo-Risk Conference 2023: Innovation in Data and Analysis Methods - Arlington, United States
Duration: Jul 23 2023Jul 26 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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