Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geological Engineering

First Advisor

I-Hsuan Ho


The study of landslides in north-central Pennsylvania is not well developed, and remediation methodology for landslide-prone and low-volume forest roads in the region can benefit from targeted and innovative engineering design strategies. Rockery walls may be an underutilized remediation methodology for low-volume forest roads in north-central Pennsylvania. Two landslide remediation projects in north-central Pennsylvania within the Lycoming and Sullivan counties can provide valuable insight into the existing methodology associated with low-volume forest road remediation in north-central Pennsylvania and outline a potentially under-utilized methodology that may improve engineering design, construction efficiency, and result quality. A review of the two landslide remediation projects within the context of a comprehensive literature review of existing knowledge on Pennsylvania landslides and forest road remediation will also sufficiently summarize the state of north-central Pennsylvania landslide remediation methodology. One of the two landslide remediation projects features a rockery wall solution, which is not common to Pennsylvania landslide remediation methodology, while the other utilizes typical landslide remediation techniques for the area. The efficiency of the rockery wall's engineering design was evaluated with the finite element method, utilizing the ABAQUS finite element modeling software. The evaluation of the finite element model of the rockery wall indicates that current design practice associated with rockery walls may be overly conservative. The construction efficiency of both landslide remediation projects was evaluated with multiple Site visits at different construction phases. The rockery wall's construction efficiency was comparable to traditional landslide remediation methodology, and the rockery wall was noticeably less intrusive in the state park environment compared to remediation of landslides via the typical remediation design of rip-rap benching with geogrid. It was also found that construction costs associated with landslide remediation along low-volume forest roads may be reduced by allowing for changes during construction, particularly in cases where stable bedrock may be encountered during excavation but could not be confirmed during the engineering design phase.