Application of an Optical Fiber Based Monitoring System to a Mass Movement Area

The purpose of this study is to generate a long-term and continuous monitoring system that is near-real-time for mass movements by utilizing optical fibers. The system is composed of fiber optic cables and a device called BOTDA (Brillouin Optical Time Domain Analyzer), which is responsible for sending laser signals to the fiber optic cable and collecting backscattered light. The system measures the distributed strain along an optical fiber cable when mass movement displaces the cable and causes differences in the cable's initial location. The system was deployed to a mass movement prone field in Kocaeli, Turkey. In this real case application, the influence of triggering factors such as hydrological and hydrogeological conditions along with seismic activity have been studied. A piezometer and an acceleration seismometer were deployed in the application area in the field in order to generate a monitoring system that is capable of evaluating the influence of the hydrological and hydrogeological conditions as well as earthquakes on the deformation characteristics. This paper presents the strain data collected in 2019 by the optical fiber system for a period of 3 months. The data was evaluated together with the ground motion measured by the accelerometer, groundwater level and pore water pressure measured with the piezometer and the precipitation data gathered from the meteorological station. The collected and evaluated results revealed that the deformation is directly related to precipitation, groundwater level, and pore water pressure. Moreover, the seismic activity also influences the deformation as a secondary triggering effect. This study has determined that optical fiber systems are reliable and well-suited for developing monitoring systems of deformation related engineering applications such as mass movements.


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Citation Formats
A. Arslan Kelam and H. Akgün, “Application of an Optical Fiber Based Monitoring System to a Mass Movement Area,” 2020, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: