Mechanics of root-pullout from soil: a novel image and stress analysis procedure

O. Hamza, A. G. Bengough, M. F. Bransby, M. C. R. Davies, P. D. Hallett

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


    When plants are loaded by external forces, whether they be above ground e.g. wind or canopy weight, or from within the soil e.g. soil displacement on slopes, the roots will be mechanically loaded. Exactly how the plant roots carry loads during these events is unknown because of their complex morphology and the heterogeneity of the root properties. To gain greater insight into plant root-soil mechanical interactions, a series of tests have been carried out to investigate the mechanical behaviour of roots and rubber root-analogues under tension during pull-out from soil. The results of the mechanical tests are augmented by a novel use of image analysis (specifically Particle Image Velocimetry) of sequential digital photographs taken during loading. This allows root and soil movements to be measured during the tests so that more can be learned about the effects of root morphology on the load distribution and deformation behaviour. The testing methodology and philosophy are presented here together with preliminary results.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEco- and ground bio-engineering : the use of vegetation to improve slope stability
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the First International Conference on Eco-Engineering, 13-17 September 2004
    EditorsA. Stokes, I. Spanos, J.E. Norris, E. Cammeraat
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)9781402055928
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event1st International Conference on Eco-Engineering: the Use of Vegetation to Improve Slope Stability - Thessaloniki, Greece
    Duration: 13 Sep 200417 Sep 2004

    Publication series

    NameDevelopments in Plant and Soil Sciences


    Conference1st International Conference on Eco-Engineering: the Use of Vegetation to Improve Slope Stability

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