Novel approaches to quantification of the vegetation effects on soil strength

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

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97 Downloads (Pure)


Vegetation has the potential to reinforce the soil through the mechanical and hydrological effects of the roots. Increased soil strength would contribute towards reducing the risks of mass wasting on slopes in terms of erosion and shallow landslides. The investigations of the vegetation effects in the past have been usually restricted to either mechanical or hydrological and have usually been carried out at a micro, meso or macro scale. However, for full understanding of the effects of vegetation on and slope stability soil strength in general, a holistic approach should be used that will include investigations of the combined effects and at different scales. For this study we outline a number of novel methods and approaches that can be used to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms of soil root reinforcement. These methods range from micro scale assessment of suction stress induced by the vegetation, through meso scale assessment of root growth on slopes, to the macro scale assessment of slope stability risks. The results of this study show that multidisciplinary knowledge of the processes taking place at different scales is needed together with input from relevant disciplines in order to inform the geotechnical modelling and eco-engineering design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2017


  • geotechnical engineering; transportation; building information modelling; earthworks; buried services
  • soil bioengineering
  • erosion control
  • landslip prevention
  • landslides
  • Root
  • Suction stress
  • Slope stability
  • Soil reinforcement
  • Tensile strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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