Best Practices for Slope Stabilization

April 24, 2012 — 1,281 views  

It goes without saying that homes and other buildings cannot be constructed on unstable ground. If the foundation of earth is not properly managed, construction projects can slide right off their foundations and collapse instantly. Therefore, it is critical that any contracting supervisor or construction firm employ proper slope stabilization practices when drawing up a blueprint.

Slope stabilization is particularly important during road construction. Because streets and highways often wind their way up cliffs and embankments, even a simple rainstorm can disturb the earth and result in a landslide. Professionals should be on the lookout for nearby faults that may be identified by irregularities in the surrounding countryside. For example, low sections in ridges (called saddles) that are aligned in the same general direction are a huge warning sign, as are streams that deviate from the direction of other bodies of water.

Slope gradient and groundwater also play a huge role in proper slope stabilization. According to the University of Twente, the greater the slope gradient and groundwater, the less stable a given slope will be, regardless of the soil type. Groundwater essentially acts as a lubricant between layers of bedding planes, and steeper slopes require landscaping to prevent any damage.