Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Arpita Nandi

Committee Members

Andrew Joyner, Ingrid Luffman


An inventory of unstable slopes along transportation corridors and performance modeling are important components of geotechnical asset management in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM). Hazards and risk were assessed for 285 unstable slopes along 151 miles of roadway. A multi-criteria model was created to select fourteen sites for two-dimensional probabilistic rockfall simulations and Acid Base Accounting (ABA) tests. Simulations indicate that rock material would likely enter the roadway at all fourteen sites. ABA test results indicate that influence of significant acid-producing potential is generally confined to slaty rocks of the Anakeesta Formation and graphitic schist of the Wehutty Formation. The research illustrates an approach for prioritizing areas for site-specific investigations towards the goal of improving safety in GRSM. These results can help park officials develop mitigation strategies for rockfall, using strategies such as widening ditches and encapsulating acidic rockfall material.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright 2021 by Thomas A. O’Shea