Vegetation reinforces slopes due to the penetration of roots into the ground. Root penetration is time dependent and strongly connected to the hydrogeological conditions of the slope that interacts with soil properties. Root reinforcement is well documented and numerous formulae exist in literature. The reinforcement action is provided by roots penetrating below a potential slip surface and stiffening the slope. The contribution of roots to stability depends both on roots tensile strength and pull-out resistance. Both aspects have broadly been investigated and some models and formulae exist which enable a qualitative evaluation of such contribution.
Anyway no sophisticated software exists for three-dimensional numerical analysis of slope stabilized with vegetation. Existing software provides simple limit equilibrium analyses and is limited to plane problems. This research project joins together scientific expertise and numerical know-how to implement latest advances in slope reinforcement with vegetation into commercial software.
The resulting software enables three-dimensional modelling of reinforced slopes. It will provide realistic soil-root interaction and root constitutive models. It will take into account root growth with time and it will consider variations of water table and unsaturated conditions.
2013 - 2018