Modelling of root-soil interactions for slope stability problems using the PFEM

  • Carbonell, Josep Maria (CIMNE / UVic-UCC)
  • Monforte, Lluís (CIMNE)
  • Arroyo, Marcos (CIMNE / UPC)

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Stability of slopes are directly affected by the consequences of the climate change. There is an increasing trend of fatal landslides in the last decade around the world. Most of the engineering techniques to stabilize slopes are very carbon intensive: concrete piles, gabions, crushed rocks, geo grids or meshes, steel anchors and shotcrete, etc. Current geo-technical solutions contribute to the worsen the conditions that affect to the stability of slopes. The use of green engineering techniques, such as the use of plants to stabilize slopes, can be a clean and sustainable solution to this problem. The current state of the art to characterize the effect of plant roots on slope stability is limited. The numerical analysis of this problem requires advanced techniques that can model the hydro-mechanical interaction between roots and soil. A large deformation framework is needed for the validation of the results with experiments (modelling the plant extraction or landslides). In this work, the use of the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM) for the modelling of the root-soil interaction is explored. Modelling approaches and initial results will be presented.