Learn Effective Slope Stabilization Techniques

Association of Construction and Development
June 12, 2012 — 2,215 views  

Slope stabilization is a system of measures used to effectively manage erosion from disturbed surfaces. Learning fast-acting slope stabilization techniques could help you stabilize soil, limit raindrop impact and prevent erosion.

Rock slope protection

Rock slope protection works well in areas where re-vegetation is difficult, as it is frequently used on steep slopes above retaining walls. It can be a time-consuming process to use this technique, but it could prove beneficial. It will require minimal maintenance and has also been proven to effectively control soil erosion.

Consider using rock slope protection when hydrologic conditions prohibit alternative stabilization. Additionally, avoid using this technique in areas where it could pose public safety risks.

Slope roughening, terracing and rounding

With this technique, you can make changes to benches, steps, terraces and other areas to limit erosion possibilities. It's a technique that is well-suited for large cut and fill slopes but often fails to control this problem on decomposed granitic soils.

Periodic inspections are necessary to ensure the quality of the land on which this technique is used. Installation could vary depending on the size of an area, so be sure to take your time with this method.


Creating a temporary or permanent barrier with mulches might provide some stability to an area. This helps protect soil from erosion and raindrop impact, and may reduce runoff velocity as well. Additionally, various options such as hydromulch, pine needles and wood chips can be used.

Mulch is an ideal option for areas that feature no vegetation, but it does not work well on sandy soils, steep slopes or wetlands.

Erosion control blankets and mats

These come in direct contact with soils and provide temporary erosion control. Erosion control blankets and mats are a cost-effective option that could help lower the amount of erosion on graded construction sites. The blankets and mats could be used to provide stability to constructed channel ways.

This option might prove beneficial to some, as the blankets and mats require little maintenance and are available in a wide variety of sizes and widths. However, you should not consider these a stand-alone choice to control erosion. They can trap and harm small animals, fail to support unprepared soils and do not offer a long-term erosion solution. 

Association of Construction and Development