Stabilisation of slopes by vegetation reinforcement

M. F. Bransby, M. C. R. Davies, S. B. Mickovski, R. Sonnenberg, A. G. Bengough, P. D. Hallett

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


Planting or maintenance of vegetation is seen increasingly as a sustainable method for slope reinforcement. Widespread use is limited by the confidence engineers have in design methods involving complex biological materials. We are investigating the link between root systems, root mechanical properties and soil slope stability. This study involves a mixture of slope reinforcement tests (geotechnical centrifuge model tests containing modelled vegetation), root-soil interaction tests (direct shear tests and root pull-out) and element tests (of roots and soil). The root-soil interaction tests investigate how the roots interact with the surrounding soil to increase its strength. Direct shear tests of fallow and root reinforced soil allowed measurement of the increase of shear strength due to the roots. Additional root 'pull-out' tests allowed investigation of the interaction of both individual roots with soil and of the root-soil interface properties which will be used in future numerical and analytical studies of slope stability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysical Modelling in Geotechnics
Subtitle of host publication6th ICPMG '06
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Group
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-415-88929-2
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-41586-6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • slope reinforcement
  • vegetation reinforcement
  • root systems
  • root mechanical properties
  • soil slope stability


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