Modelling hydro-mechanical reinforcements of plants to slope stability

J J Ni, A. K. Leung (Lead / Corresponding author), C. W. W. Ng, W Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)
245 Downloads (Pure)


The study investigates plant reinforcement to the stability of coarse-grained soil slopes, exploring the relative contribution of mechanical root reinforcement and hydrological effects of plant-induced matric suction. A numerical model is used to capture both mechanical root reinforcement and hydrological effects, including evapotranspiration with different root architectures and root-induced changes in soil water retention curve and hydraulic conductivity. Mechanical reinforcement is effective only in shallow depths, where the most root biomass exists. Hydrological reinforcement is much more significant in deeper depths (>1 m), but this effect could vanish due to root-induced increase in hydraulic conductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Early online date14 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Matric suction
  • Mechanical reinforcement
  • Plant transpiration
  • Slope stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


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