Rhine Waterfalls


Problem statement

The Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen, Switzerland is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. It is one of the region’s most important tourist attractions and visitors marvel at the beautiful scenery from a terrace at the castle of Laufen. Rock anchors installed to stabilise the rock wall below the castle showed unexpected force changes, leading to concerns that some sliding surfaces had developed. To ensure the ongoing safety of the terrace, additional rock anchors with measuring devices were installed, with a ROBO-CONTROL system monitoring anchor force changes. This enables the responsible design engineer to draw conclusions about the rock wall’s movement behaviour, ensuring appropriate action can be taken if required.

Description of the structure

The rock wall of particular interest is about 20m high and was stabilised with 11 additional rock anchors. The installation conditions were challenging due to high exposure, noise and dampness.

Monitoring approach

A ROBO-CONTROL permanent “BASIC” system was connected to the installed rock anchors, its flexibility allowing compatibility with the load cells of the
anchors. After the system calibration had been successfully conducted, the long term monitoring was set up, transmitting all data to a central server. The responsible authorities and design engineers are then able to monitor all anchor forces from their own offices, via a web interface. The designer set some critical limitations for the anchor forces, which are implemented in the alarm notification feature of the ROBO-CONTROL system. Should any alarm value be exceeded, immediate notification will be sent by email and SMS to the designer and owner.

Outcome and benefit for the customer

It could be concluded that the rock wall has been well stabilised by the additional rock anchors. The forces are now very stable and rock movements are negligible.
And although movements may develop in the future, the ROBO-CONTROL system‘s alarm feature gives the local authority the confidence it needs to safely manage one of Switzerland’s most frequented and spectacular public terraces.

More information

Key data