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How can vegetation improve soil shear strength and slope stability?

Vegetation in slopes could modify the soil moisture condition in two ways:

(i) Soil moisture is absorbed by roots of vegetation and the water is transpired to its root;
(ii) It intercepts the rainfall by reducing the amount of rainwater penetrating into the slope.


Both processes, i.e. evapotranspiration and interception effected by the presence of vegetation contribute to dry soil conditions. Moreover, evapotranspiration results in soil suction in unsaturated soil slopes, which further improves the shear strength of soil. As such, it tends to delay the time of saturation in slopes and this essentially improves the slope stability.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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