Project Studies

Project Studies

Runout Modeling

Dr. John Allan was the first who identified and mapped the extent of the South Peak hazard. Based on his information, in 1934, the Government of Alberta issued a notice of danger to residents living in the danger zone.



Figure 27. Dr. Allan’s map of the south peak danger zone.

In 2000, BGC Engineering revisited Allan’s assumed failure mechanism and volume calculations. Using modern methods to determine rock fall and runout, BGC Engineering revised the danger zones. All of the current early warning and emergency response plans and protocols use the BGC Empirical Upper Limit Zone.



Figure 28. BGC Engineering overlain on John Allan’s danger zone.

Combining BGC Engineering’s calculations with a higher resolution digital elevation model and improved 3D analysis, O. Hungr Geotechnical Research predicted a new runout model if South Peak fails.

These simulations all showed South Peak failing as a single 5 million m3 mass. However, recent studies using LiDAR data indicate that a series of smaller volume failures is more likely to occur in the South Peak area. Therefore, we applied dynamic runout models to predict the runout areas for the unstable volumes identified. We have also analyzed the runout distances for the potential rock avalanches from Third Peak. More information on these new runout models will be published in 2016 in the annual Turtle Mountain Field Laboratory Data and Activity Summary.

More information on these new runout models is available in the Turtle Mountain Field Laboratory Data and Activity Summary for 2014.

North Peak Model


Figure 29. Runout-modelling results for “shallow” rock failure at North Peak. Solid lines depict outline of runout based on 3D model analyses and dashed line depict outline of runout based on 2D analyses. Orange area delineates area of failure. Modified from Hungr, O. (2014): North Peak of Turtle Mountain, Frank Alberta: runout analysis of two potential landslides.


Figure 30. Runout-modelling results for “deep” rock failure at North Peak. Solid lines depict outline of runout based on 3D model analyses and dashed lines depict outline of runout based on 2D analysis. Orange areas delineates area of failure. Figure from Hungr, O. (2014): North Peak of Turtle Mountain, Frank Alberta: runout analysis of two potential landslides.


South Peak Model


Figure 31. Runout estimate for South Peak (single large-volume mass).


Figure 32. South and Third Peak hazard areas (multiple small-volume masses).