The Sumela Monastery slope in Macka, Trabzon, Northeast Turkey: rock mass properties and stability assessment

Gelişli K., Şeren A., Babacan A. E., Cataklı A., Ersoy H., Kandemir R.

BULLETIN OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, vol.70, no.4, pp.577-583, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10064-010-0343-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.577-583
  • Keywords: Sumela Monastery, Rock classification, Seismic velocity, Q value, RQD, RMR, HAZARD, TUNNEL
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In 2001, rock falls occurred on the southern slope of the Sumela Monastery, which was built on a cliff in Trabzon, north east Turkey, and is visited by many tourists. Considering the steepness of the slope and difficulty of access, rock classifications were made based on seismic wave velocity, rock mass quality (Q), rock quality designation (RQD) and rock mass rating (RMR). The results indicated extremely poor to very poor rock in the cracked, fractured and weathered parts and poor to fair rock in the intact parts of the monastery slope. As a consequence, rock fall, slide and rolling may occur from time to time. These constitute a hazard to the facilities of the monastery and access paths. It is recommended that cracked areas are strengthened with cement- based materials, that accumulated rocks are removed, and that retaining walls are constructed on solid rock around the unstable rock blocks.