Barren soil cover is no way to maintain a healthy pipeline slope; erosion greatly increases with exposed soil. Trees, shrubs, and groundcovers can maintain slopes and reduce erosion from surface water, shallow groundwater, and, to some extent, coastal processes.
What Type of Vegetation Works Best?
The short answer is the native plants of the region. The longer answer is a bit more complicated. Evergreen trees are most valuable and able to protect soil and remove water during the winter months when deciduous plants are dormant. A diverse mix of both evergreen and deciduous plants provides the greatest protection.
Plants and grass intercept rainfall, causing absorptive and evaporative losses that reduce surface water runoff and erosion.
Evergreen trees and shrubs continue the metabolic activity known as evapo-transpiration, which extracts moisture from the soil. Wet soil can lead to landslides.
Roots reinforce the soil, increasing lateral soil sheer strength and cohesion during saturated conditions. Many slopes can persist beyond their angle of repose and remain stable as a result of the complex root networks within soil blocks.
How to Encourage Natural Vegetative Growth
Articulating concrete revetment mats are a cost-effective, long-term solution, that encourage natural plants to return to the slope. These mats consist of flexible concrete elements connected by ultraviolet stabilized copolymer extruded fiber rope. Because of their nature, they become part of the landscape.
The concrete mat solution will provide a long-term, continuous system of hard-armor protection for the entire length of the pipeline from high bank to high bank. They will also articulate and self-adjust with the streambed to prevent the upstream migration of future headcut erosion.
The mats allow for natural vegetation, restoring the look of a natural riparian corridor. The vegetation allows them to blend with the natural surroundings, creating wildlife habitats and increasing biodiversity within the stream.
To learn more about the Submar articulating concrete revetment mats, visit our website.