What Is Mechanically Stabilized Earth?
Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) is soil that has been built with artificial reinforcing, such as steel and geosynthetics, and is used for seawalls, retaining walls, and dikes.
Why Is the Term Relevant to the Oil and Gas Industry?
When constructing a pipeline, erosion and runoff may occur. Running water or wind erosion can remove sediment around a pipeline, exposing it to the elements. This can cause numerous problems, including cracking, and damaged pipelines can incur expensive delays and repairs.
Erosion does not stop after an exposed pipeline ruptures: wind and water continue to wear away at the pipeline’s structure, exposing even more of the pipeline.
MSE is a beneficial solution because it fortifies streambanks and surrounding areas. Once strengthened, vegetation can return. As plants grow, the likelihood of erosion and runoff diminishes.