Hydrological effects of live poles on transient seepage in an unsaturated soil slope: centrifuge and numerical study

Charles W. W. Ng, Anthony K. Leung (Lead / Corresponding author), Ruiwang Yu, Viroon Kamchoom

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Live poles have been used to stabilise shallow slopes. Most of the existing work has focused on pole reinforcement. The effects of pole transpiration on slope stability are unclear. This study aims to investigate the effects of pole transpiration on rainfall-induced slope hydrology through centrifuge model tests. A novel live pole modelling technique using real branch cuttings was adopted to simulate the hydrological effects of the transpiration-induced suction in the centrifuge. Suction responses during rainfall were recorded and back-analysed by seepage analysis. Higher suction was preserved after rainfall when pole transpiration induced higher suction before rainfall. This is because inducing higher suction would lower the soil water storage capacity and hydraulic conductivity. After a rainfall event with a return period of 20 years, up to 10 kPa of suction was preserved in the pole-supported slope to provide stabilisation effects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04016106
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date28 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2016



  • Slope stability
  • live poles
  • transpiration
  • suction
  • centrifuge modelling

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