Stabilising slopes with vegetation: Root biomechanics and experimental technique

J. Trottet, A. G. Bengough, K. Loades (Lead / Corresponding author)

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

Abstract

The study investigates the mechanical properties of plant roots in relation to slope stabilisation. European Beech (Fagus slyvatica) samples were taken and root tensile strength and Young's modulus measured as a function of root diameter, clamping pressure, strain rate, and cyclic loading. Thicker samples generally required increased clamping pressure to adequately hold the plant tissue without slippage, whilst pressure that was too great caused breakage close to the clamping point. By increasing clamping pressure linearly as a function of root diameter, the success rate was increased. There was no significant effect on tensile strength or elastic modulus of strain rate (1mm/min or 5mm/min), nor of diameter or sampling depth (roots from top soil versus subsoil). Cyclic loading tests show that roots with a stress history behave in much stiffer manner than roots undergoing an initial loading. Roots exhibited viscoelastic properties and a general expression for the relaxation of stresses in the material was derived. A general equation of creep was developed based on Burger's spring and dashpot model for viscoelastic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSlopes and Geohazards
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherICE Publishing
Pages1681-1686
Number of pages6
Volume4
ISBN (Print)9780727760678
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ECSMGE 2015 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201517 Sep 2015

Conference

Conference16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ECSMGE 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period13/09/1517/09/15

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  • Cite this

    Trottet, J., Bengough, A. G., & Loades, K. (2015). Stabilising slopes with vegetation: Root biomechanics and experimental technique. In Slopes and Geohazards (Vol. 4, pp. 1681-1686). ICE Publishing.