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Pullout tests of root analogs and natural root bundles in soil: Experiments and modeling
Schwarz M, Cohen D, Or D
Type of Publication:
Reviewed Journal Article
Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 2011, V116, APR 22 ARTN: F02007, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010JF001753.
Root-soil mechanical interactions are key to soil stability on steep hillslopes. Motivated by new advances and applications of the Root Bundle Model (RBM), we conducted a series of experiments in the laboratory and in the field to study the mechanical response of pulled roots. We systematically quantified the influence of different factors such as root geometry and configuration, soil type, and soil water content considering individual roots and root bundles. We developed a novel pullout apparatus for strain-controlled field and laboratory tests of up to 13 parallel roots measured individually and as a bundle. Results highlight the importance of root tortuosity and root branching points for prediction of individual root pullout behavior. Results also confirm the critical role of root diameter distribution for realistic prediction of global pullout behavior of a root bundle. Friction between root and soil matrix varied with soil type and water content and affected the force-displacement behavior. Friction in sand varied from 1 to 17 kPa, with low values obtained in wet sand at a confining pressure of 2 kPa and high values obtained in dry sand with 4.5 kPa confining pressure. In a silty soil matrix, friction ranged between 3 kPa under wet and low confining pressure (2 kPa) and 6 kPa in dry and higher confining pressure (4.5 kPa). Displacement at maximum pullout force increased with increasing root diameter and with tortuosity. Laboratory experiments were used to calibrate the RBM that was later validated using six field measurements with natural root bundles of Norway spruce (Picea abies L.). These tests demonstrate the progressive nature of root bundle failure under strain-controlled pullout force and provide new insights regarding force-displacement behavior of root reinforcement, highlighting the importance of considering displacement in slope stability models. Results show that the magnitude of maximum root pullout forces (1-5 kPa) are important for slope stability. The force-displacement relations characterized in this study are fundamental inputs for quantifying the resistive force redistribution on vegetated slopes and may provide explanation for abrupt loss of strength during landslide initiation and deformation.
1.3 Soil and Lithosphere
Pedology , Modelling , Plant Sciences
oregon coast range; shear strength; tree roots; bond slip; tensile strength; slope stability; fiber pullout; reinforcement; resistance; systems
M Schwarz, Swiss Fed Inst Forest Snow & Landscape Res, Zurcherstr 111, CH 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland ; Research Addresses: M ; Schwarz: Swiss Fed Inst Forest Snow & Landscape Res, CH 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland; D ; Cohen, D ; Or: ETH, Inst Terr Ecosyst, CH 8092 Zurich, Switzerland ; Email: Massimiliano.schwarz@WSL.ch, Denis.cohen@env.ETHz.ch, Dani.or @env.ETHz.ch
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