Civil Engineering Techniques for Preventing Landslides

Civil Engineering Techniques for Preventing Landslides

Landslides are a danger around hilly areas, so engineers develop special methods to prevent the earth and stones on slopes from dislodging and falling. As a professional who works in construction, you should thus be aware of the civil engineering techniques for preventing landslides so you can keep people who will use the roads and other structures around hills and mountains safe. We cover the major practices that you may employ to stabilize these environments in this article.

Planting Vegetation

On smaller-scale projects, planting vegetation alone can greatly reduce the likelihood that the ground in an inclined location will move. The most ideal plants you can use for this purpose are species that grow low to the ground and spread laterally. These types of plants will lay down roots in the soil that prevent it from moving when wind and precipitation hit the slope. Since they are not too tall, they won’t be prone to toppling over or worsening landslides as trees might.

Creating Ditches and Fences

In places where large rocks may fall along with shifting ground, you must make sure to create designs that stop this debris before it can cause serious damage or injury. For this reason, creating ditches and fences is an important civil engineering technique you may use to prevent landslides. Ditches will catch stones and boulders, halting their progress. Sturdy fences can also halt the rocks’ momentum. These fences are often composed of steel wire arranged in a flexible mesh to absorb falling stones’ kinetic energy. This reduces the likelihood that they may bounce over the fence or shatter into pieces, which will still pose a danger to people as they fly through the air.

Building Retaining Walls

Retaining walls hold up the earth so that it has no chance to become loose in the first place. As you build them, you split one contiguous slope into two flatter areas—one that’s at a higher elevation and one that sits lower. You can use solid metal beams as anchors to further solidify the retaining wall’s position or create exit routes for water so that pressure does not build up behind the wall. There are many ways to go about building retaining walls as well, so learning to choose the right retaining wall material is crucial. You want the material to match the circumstantial needs of the location where you construct it.

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