The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W5
18 Aug 2017
 | 18 Aug 2017


G. Delmonaco, M. Brini, and G. Cesaro

Keywords: monitoring, geological conservation, rock fall, Internet of Things, Petra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Abstract. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra is characterized by a spectacular geo-archaeological landscape that lead to its inscription as World Heritage Site in 1985. Petra is also a fragile site facing a wide diversity of risks, ranging from those posed by environmental factors as well as those attributed to tourism. In recent years, hazardous natural phenomena were registered as increasingly impacting the site, and most specifically the 'Siq', a 1.2 km naturally formed gorge serving as the only tourist entrance to the archaeological park, posing a major threat to cultural heritage and visitors. These recent events have prompted UNESCO Amman Office, in cooperation with the national authorities, to develop a strategy towards prevention and mitigation of instability phenomena at the 'Siq' and, thus, further contribute to the management and conservation of the site through the implementation of the multi-year Italian funded "Siq Stability" project Actions have been primarily focusing on the analysis of the stability conditions of the 'Siq' slopes, the installation of an integrated monitoring system and the definition and implementation of mitigation measures against rock instability. This paper reports a detailed description of the integrated monitoring system installed paying particular attention on the wireless monitoring devices and the EASA applications, which proved to be some of the most successful systems implemented in the framework of the project. Some preliminary results regarding the data retrieved, policies applied and actions taken to ensure long-term sustainability and capacity development of the national authorities are also reported.