Implementation of eco-engineering design into existing slope stability design practices

Guillermo Tardio*, Slobodan B. Mickovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Eco-engineering techniques involve the use of both plants and inert materials where, in the latter, non-treated wood is usually present. The two different elements will both evolve with time and change their mechanical properties differently. On one hand, the wood will degrade decreasing its effective cross sectional area with time. On the other hand, the live plant material will grow and propagate new roots as time progresses. Both root development and inert material changes must be accounted for in order to realistically simulate a bioengineered slope evolution and design effective eco-engineering solutions.

The dynamic nature of a bioengineered work sets different scenarios throughout the slope design life. All these different stages must be taken into account in the work design process. In this work, we propose an adaptation of the existing routines and procedures of both geotechnical practice and civil engineering design scheme in order to closely reflect the inclusion of bioengineering methods in the classic geotechnical engineering problems. A design methodology covering different critical points within the lifecycle of a bioengineered slope is proposed and put into practice into the design stage for a case study in Scotland. By detecting critical points at the design stage the proposed methodology was proven to offer an improved eco-engineering work design scheme. With the use of the proposed method both external and internal stability checks with their corresponding safety factor values increase with time and there are no conflicts between the two evolving processes involved in this kind of works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138–147
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Engineering
Volume92
Early online date8 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Keywords

  • bioengineered slope
  • reinforced slope
  • roots
  • slope stability
  • soil reinforcement
  • wood decay
  • durability

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