What is erosion control and why is geotechnical engineering important?

soil erosionPreventing land erosion caused by atmospheric phenomena is something that is gaining more and more importance today in fields like agriculture, coastal or land development (roads, embankments, canals, dams, reservoirs, landfills) and also construction.

Controlling erosion is necessary to avoid water pollution, dismantlement of soil – including that of riverbanks; areas that are not only animal habitats, but also to humans.

There are ways to prevent erosion and others to manage it; some are natural preventive solutions like planting vegetation. Others, probably more popular and especially used at construction sites, see the implementation of particular fences.

There is also another method called matting, which does not affect the environment and provides strength to the area to stay compact. Other methods are applied depending on the area, whether it is a shoreline or a particularly demanding construction field, but land development and erosion control seem to have found the ideal balance between cause and effect in order to guarantee the right applicable measure requested by every single case.

The ways that are used today to manage erosion are getting safer, more efficient and durable, involving the instalment of physical barrier, the creation of drains and the implementation of additional items such as sediment basins along with the preventive fences.

In construction areas, erosion control is one of the major issues to take in consideration, and to deal with on a regular basis. The safety of the site and the protection of the work in progress are priorities for geotechnical engineering’s concerns, as well as the environmental impact on the whole surrounding area.

Erosion control and its measures can weigh massively on the cost of the final project, so the specific branch of civil engineering is focusing on finding innovative products to minimize the impact of erosion on both the environment and the project funds.

When land engineering focuses on land development and erosion control, it has to consider how to use the land minding first its capability, how to control the loss of soil by preventing erosive forces to occur on an extensive level, and eventually protect the land with some sort of coverage and barriers.

In order to do so, investigations of the area are necessary to prevent hazards while erosion control methods become fundamental, as their primary function is to reinforce the soil for more stability, drain it to avoid water stagnation or dumps, and create filtration and containment levels to put the whole area in safety.