Soil-root withholding strength for river bank stability
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The ability of vegetation to stabilise soils is frequently employed in slope stabilisation projects including riverbank restoration activity. Soil block samples permeated with roots of Bermuda Grass commonly used for remediation and riverbank restoration were tested in a direct shear apparatus. Shear stress results of rooted soils were compared with results of un-vegetated soil blocks with similar soil types. The increase of shear strength was determined by comparing shear stresses at specific horizontal displacements. The relative strength increase at the same displacement was 27.3 kPa compared to 19.1 kPa for un-vegetated soil at a displacement of 13.3cm (Location 3). The relative strength increase at the same displacement of 13.3cm was 43.5% for Location 1 and 42.4% for Location 2. The shear stresses in most of the blocks with roots were still increasing at the end of the test (maximum displacement of about 15cm). These conservative root biomass values and the shearing resistance obtained can be used in the assessment of the stability of the existing vegetated slopes and in the design of vegetated riverbanks.
- IEM Journal