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Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
Print version ISSN 1021-2019


KIRSTEN, H A D; HEATH, G J; VENTER, I S  and  OOSTHUIZEN, A C. The issue of personal safety on dolomite: A probability-based evaluation with respect to two- and three-storey residential units. J. S. Afr. Inst. Civ. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.56, n.2, pp.54-61. ISSN 2309-8775.

ABSTRACT While single-storey (single-house) residential developments were considered in a previous paper, two- and three-storey (multiple house) residential developments, which result in significantly higher densities of land occupation, are considered in this paper. The overall probability of injury for the occupants of two- and three-storey dwelling units is defined as co-dependent probabilities of sinkhole occurrence, coincidence of the sinkhole with a dwelling unit, structural collapse of the dwelling unit, occupancy of the dwelling unit, occupants in residence when the sinkhole occurs and fatal injury as a result of the event. The probability of sinkhole occurrence is determined by the associated infiltration regime for residential development, and the geological ground profile. The probability of coincidence between a sinkhole and a dwelling unit is treated in terms of overlapping geometric shapes. The probabilities for the remaining events are subjectively assigned by engineering judgement. The resulting overall probability of injury enables the number of dwelling units and the associated population densities for each of the Inherent Hazard Classes to be determined. It is found that the allowable population densities for two- and three-storey residential units amount to 890, 425, 170, 125, 40, 0, 0 and 0 people per hectare respectively for the eight Inherent Hazard Classes of dolomite land. This corresponds in principle with the allowable population densities for single-storey dwelling houses of 800, 400, 150, 100, 30, 0, 0 and 0 people per hectare respectively for the eight Inherent Hazard Classes.

Keywords : dolomite; sinkhole; risk; hazard; coincidence; probability; multiple housing.

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