EGU2020-10218, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Innovative geo-monitoring system to assess hydro-hazards at road embankments

Panagiotis Michalis1, Yi Xu2, Eftychia Koursari3, Stuart Wallace3, and Manousos Valyrakis2
Panagiotis Michalis et al.
  • 1University of Glasgow, School of Engineering, Glasgow, United Kingdom (
  • 2University of Glasgow, School of Engineering, Glasgow, United Kingdom (
  • 3Amey Consulting, Structures, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Road infrastructure is expected to face extreme pressure due to ageing and climatic extremes [1] as evident by recent cases of flash floods followed by drought periods. Among the most vulnerable elements of civil infrastructure are considered to be the road embankments that are not expected to withstand the prospective flood extremes. Seepage and internal erosion patterns inside the body of embankments are difficult to be assessed with conventional methods (e.g. visual inspections) and therefore go undetected leading to irreversible effects with major disruption and costs to road asset owners and maintainers. Flood-induced hazards can cause sudden collapse of bridge infrastructure without prior warning, and with significant socio-economic impacts [2]. Various sensor applications have focused on the development of monitoring systems to assess in real-time hydro and geo-hazards [2, 3, 4, 5]

This study focuses on the development and application of a real-time geo-monitoring system at a pilot road embankment in Scotland (UK) to remotely assess the evolving characteristics of hydro-hazards. The system will also provide early warning of such hazards and timely information to asset owner for proactive actions and early maintenance to avoid irreversible and costly major rehabilitation activities.

[1] Michalis, P., Konstantinidis, F. and Valyrakis, M. (2019) The road towards Civil Infrastructure 4.0 for proactive asset management of critical infrastructure systems. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Natural Hazards & Infrastructure (ICONHIC2019), Chania, Greece, 23–26 June 2019, pp.1-9.

[2] Koursari, E., Wallace, S., Valyrakis, M. and Michalis, P. (2019) The need for real time and robust sensing of infrastructure risk due to extreme hydrologic events, 2019 UK/ China Emerging Technologies (UCET), Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2019, pp. 1-3. doi: 10.1109/UCET.2019.8881865

[3] Michalis, P., Saafi, M. and Judd, M. (2012) Wireless sensor networks for surveillance and monitoring of bridge scour. Proceedings of the XI International Conference Protection and Restoration of the Environment - PRE XI. Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 1345–1354

[4] Valyrakis M. and Alexakis, A. (2016) Development of a “smart-pebble” for tracking sediment transport. International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics River Flow 2016, St. Liouis, MO, 8p.

[5] Michalis, P., Saafi, M. and M.D. Judd. (2012) Integrated Wireless Sensing Technology for Surveillance and Monitoring of Bridge Scour. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Scour and Erosion, France, Paris, pp. 395-402.

Acknowledgements: This research project has been funded by Transport Scotland, under the 2019/20 Innovation Fund (Scheme ID19/SE/0401/032).

How to cite: Michalis, P., Xu, Y., Koursari, E., Wallace, S., and Valyrakis, M.: Innovative geo-monitoring system to assess hydro-hazards at road embankments, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10218,, 2020