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Rock Type Library

The Rock Type Library is used to define and store the properties of the rocks you want to throw down the slope for the rockfall analysis (i.e., Mass, Density, Shapes). You can define multiple rock types to represent groups of rocks having different properties. To apply rock properties to a rockfall model, you assign one or more Rock Types to one or more of the rock fall's seeders using the Seeder Properties dialog.

The available Rock Type properties depend on the Analysis Method selected in the Project Settings General tab.

Lump Mass - You can define rock Mass and Density. All rocks are assumed to be very small rock masses.

Rigid Body - You can define Mass, Density, and Shapes (Smooth Shapes or Polygons).

Defining Rock Types

To define a Rock Type:

  1. Select Rock Type Library Rock Type Library icon on the toolbar of the Seeder menu.
    The Rock Type Library appears. Currently defined Rock Types are listed on the left of the dialog. By default, at least one Rock Type is always defined.
    Rock Type Library dialog
  2. Click the Add Add icon button below the list of existing Rock Types.
    A new Rock Types is added to the list with default properties.
  3. Enter a Name for the new Rock Type and change the default Color if desired.
  4. Enter values for Mass (kg) and Density (kg/m2).
    These can be exact values or Statistical Distributions. The default values are 1000 and 2700, respectively.
  5. If Analysis Method = Rigid Body, define the rock Shapes using the Smooth Shapes and Polygons buttons.
    See Rock Shapes in RocFall for more help.
  6. Click OK to save the new Rock Type and close the dialog.

Rock Type List Functions

The Rock Type list shows all currently defined Rock Types in your RocFall installation. The properties shown in the dialog and the function buttons below the list apply to the currently selected Rock Type. The functions available for the list are the following:

  • Click Delete icon to delete the selected type
  • Click Add icon to add a new type
  • Click Icon showing types that are assigned to seeders to show types that are assigned to seeders
  • Click Export or import properties icon to export or import properties or to set the current properties as the default for all new types

Rock Mass and Density


You can define Mass and Density for a Rock Type as exact values or Statistical Distributions. To define the latter, you use the Statistics popup by clicking the Statistics button Statistics button icon. For details, see Specifying Statistical Distributions in RocFall.


You can use the Mass Calculation popup, accessed by clicking Calculator icon , to quickly calculate the mass of rocks based on the geometry of a sphere, cube, or block. A Rock Density Table has been provided, although this table is not exhaustive.


To access the list of common rock types and corresponding densities, select the Rock Density Table Rock Density Table icon button. See the Predefined Rock Types topic for more details.

Rock Shapes

If Analysis Method = Rigid Body, you can define rock Shapes. For details, see Rock Shapes in RocFall.

Rock Size and Shape

By default, rock size (i.e., dimensions) is not directly defined as an input parameter when using Shapes. Instead, the rock dimensions are automatically calculated based on the rock Mass, Density, and Shape as described in the Rock Shape and Size verification document.

However, if you are using Custom Polygonal Shapes, there is a Use Exact Size option that allows you to define a two-dimensional rock shape using actual coordinates. For more details, see Rock Shapes in RocFall.

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