Coastal slope instability in contrasting geoenvironmental conditions

S.B. Mickovski, O. Santos, P.M.D. Durante Ingunza, L. Bressani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Citations (Scopus)


With changing climate and increasing soil erosion rates the stability of coastal slopes worldwide gains importance every day.
We investigated the mechanisms of instability on two coastal slopes in two different bio-geo-climatic regions with a view of comparing the
potential destabilising factors, hazards and consequences from a multi-disciplinary aspect. The slopes in north-east Scotland comprise thin
silts and sands over sandstone bedrock. Both shallow slips and erosion processes have shaped the slope which is also further destabilised by
the wave action from the sea. Grasses, shrubs and planted trees are partially covering the slope face. The slopes in Brazil comprise thick
sand deposits over weak sandstone bedrock. Shallow translational slips as well as water and wind erosion effects dominate on the mainly
fallow slope. In the vegetated areas of the slope, climbers and grasses are recorded with an occasional presence of a tree. We conclude that
the mechanisms of failure in different regions can be similar and so can be the destabilising factors. Through numerical modelling and ecotechnological
specification, we propose hazard mitigation measures and remediation techniques that are of value across the climatic regions
which would provide resilience for the coastal slopes liable to instability. We also propose an engineering approach to the solution of this
type of problem involving knowledge from a number of disciplines related to geotechnics from the perspective of preservation of natural
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XVI ECSMGE Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development
PublisherICE Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-0-7277-6067-8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015


  • coastal slope instability
  • geo-environmental conditions
  • geotechnical engineering


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