Stabilized Slopes

Stability of slopes from soil mechanics point of view, were discussed under Soil Mechanics > Soil Strength > Slope Stability section. Here we will describe slope stabilizing measures.

Slope Stabilization with tiered excavation:

Probably the most straightforward means of stabilizing a slope is to excavate it so that its slope would be reduced. This can be done by excavating the slope in tiers, as seen below:

slope stability 1

Keyed and Benched Slopes with Fill:

Here the slope base is excavated in a manner to create keys and benches and then it is backfilled and compacted to form the final slope shape.

slope stability 2

Micropile Slope Stabilization:

We had talked about micropiles under Foundations > Deep Foundations section. Micropiles can also be used for slope stabilization, where they are used like “stitches” to bind the two layers of slope that carry the risk of sliding against each other. Note that we show a rotating slope here but it doesn’t have to be like that. It can also be a sliding slope.

slope stability 3

Anchor Block Slope Stabilization:

This is similar to the micropile slope stabilization method we talked about above, except that anchor blocks are used, which can also go larger distances than micropiles. The reaction beam and the anchor is connected with steel bars that take tension.

slope stability 4

Reinforced Soil Slopes:

These can be considered as a subset of mechanically stabilized earth walls, that we talked about in the previous section. Slopes upto a certain degree can be reinforced with elements just like the ones we use in mechanically stabilized earth walls. So in other words, if you consider the figure that we showed for reinforced earth walls, imagine that instead of the retained earth had a flat surface, it had sloped surface. This is what we mean by reinforced earth slopes. Again, the reinforcement is done in plain layers.

Slope Bioengineering:

This s a technique that combines engineering and biology, to protect slopes and reduce erosion, where site access is difficult and aesthetics requirements are more strict. Provided that it can provide the required stability, protecting slopes with plants should always be preferred method. Often this method is combined with other methods.

Covering of slopes with meshes:

This method is mostly for covering of the slope surface so that rocks and stones would not fall below. The meshes are mechanically fastened into the slope surface, by suitable means for that particular natural soil. 

In the next post of this series, we will discuss “Deep Excavations”

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