Performance of an instrumented slope covered with shrubs and deep-rooted grass

H. Rahardjo, A. Satyanaga, E. C. Leong, V. A. Santoso, Y. S. Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Green technology, an integrated design approach that combines vegetation and engineering design methods, can be applied to improve slope stability. Orange Jasmine is a small tropical evergreen shrub which has deep root systems and is considered to be a drought-tolerant plant that adapts well to a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. It can also grow in infertile soils, limestone soils or loam. Vetiver grass has been widely cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world for soil and water conservation, land rehabilitation, and embankment stabilization. Vetiver grass has deep roots (2-4 m) and adapts well under extreme conditions of temperature, soil, moisture, soil acidity, and alkalinity. The role of Orange Jasmine and Vetiver grass in minimizing rainwater infiltration, for improving the stability of slopes, was investigated on a soil slope in Singapore with its tropical climate. Two slope sections, covered with Orange Jasmine and Vetiver grass, were instrumented with tensiometers, installed at different depths within the slope, and a rainfall gauge. The instruments were connected to a real-time monitoring system to study the pore-water pressure, the rainfall, and the groundwater level in the slope throughout a one-year period. The pore-water pressure characteristics within the slope sections covered with Orange Jasmine and Vetiver grass are analyzed and presented in this paper. The analyses indicate that both Orange Jasmine and Vetiver grass played a significant role in reducing rainwater infiltration into the slope, minimizing the loss of matric suction, and hence, the shear strength of the soil during rainfall and, as a result, maintained the stability of the slope. Vetiver grass and Orange Jasmine appeared to be similar in effectiveness in terms of reducing the rainwater infiltration into the slope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
JournalSoils and Foundations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Infiltration
  • Instrumentation
  • Matric suction
  • Orange Jasmine
  • Rain
  • Slope stability
  • Tropical
  • Vetiver grass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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