Modelling of mechanical roots on slope stability




Chromolaena odorata, Maesopsis eminii, mechanical effect, root cohesion, slope stability, Tectona grandis


Root system mechanical reinforcement through root-soil cohesion on slope stability is important. However, the root cohesion of Tectona grandis, Maesopsis eminii, and shrubs (Chromolaena odorata) on slope stability is rarely studied and modelled. This study aimed to model the mechanical effect of vegetation through root cohesion, namely teak (Tectona grandis), Maesopsis eminii, and shrubs (Chromolaena odorata). The study was conducted in a simultaneous landslide on January 1, 2020, that dominantly occurred on vegetated slopes of Sukajaya District, Bogor Regency, West Java. The Wu model's root cohesion (CR) was modelled on slope stability using a modified Bishop model. The modelling used the data from field and laboratory-measured. The study found that the presence of a root system increases slope stability's factor of safety (FOS). The root system of young Maesopsiss eminii produces the largest effect of FOS compared to the root system of shrubs, teak, and old Maesopsis eminii. The slope stability of vegetated slopes is a function of the CR and the effective root zone depth. The highest total CR of vegetation was teak with 0.398 kPa, followed by shrubs, young Maesopsis eminii, and old Maesopsis eminii with 0.202 kPa, 0.191 kPa, and 0.087 kPa, respectively. The effective root zone of teak, young Maesopsis eminii, and shrub were 500, 230, 140, and 66 cm, respectively.

Author Biographies

Yulia Amirul Fata, Forest Management Science, Graduate Study Program, IPB University; Soil Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Brawijaya University

Forest Management

Hendrayanto Hendrayanto, Forest Management Department, IPB University

Forest Management

Erizal Erizal, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, IPB University

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Suria Darma Tarigan, Soil and Land Resources Science Department, IPB University

Soil and Land Resources Science

Takeshi Katsumi, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies


Adhikari, A.R., Gautam, M.R., Yu, Z., Imada, S. and Archarya, K. 2013. Estimated root cohesion for desert shrub species in the Lower Colorado riparian ecosystem and its potential for streambank stabilization. Ecological Engineering 51:33-44, doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng. 2012.12.005.

ASTM D3080. Standard Test Method for Direct Shear Test of Soils Under Consolidated Drained Conditions. United States.

ASTM D638-14. 2015. Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics. United States.

Cazzuffi, D. and Crippa, E. 2005. Contribution of vegetation to slope stability: An overview of experimental studies carried out on different types of plants. Geo-Frontiers Congress, January 24-26, 2005. Austin, Texas, United States, doi:10.1061/40781(160)9.

Chambers, J.E., Wilkinson, P.B., Kuras, O., Ford, J.R., Gunn, D.A., Meldrum, P.I., Pennington, C.V.L., Weller, A.I., Hobbs, P.R.N. and Ogilvy, R.D. 2011. Three-dimensional geophysical anatomy of an active landslide in Lias Group mudrocks, Cleveland Basin, UK. Geomorphology 125:472-484, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.09.017.

Docker. B.B. 2003. Biotechnical engineering on alluvial riverbanks of southeastern Australia: A quantified model of the earth-reinforcing properties of some native riparian trees. Ph.D. thesis, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney.

Emadi-Tafti, M., Ataie-Ashtiani, B. and Hosseini, S.M. 2021. Integrated impacts of vegetation and soil type on slope stability: A case study of Kheyrud Forest, Iran. Ecological Modelling 446:1-16, doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2021.109498.

Ettbeb, A.E., Rahman, Z.A., Idris, W.M.R., Adam, J., Rahim, S.A., Tarmidzi, A. and Lihan, T. 2020. Root Tensile Resistance of Selected Pennisetum Species and Shear Strength of Root-Permeated Soil. Applied and Environmental Soil Science 1-9, doi:10.1155/2020/3484718.

Fata, Y.A., Hendrayanto, Erizal, and Tarigan, S.D. 2021b. 2D and 3D ground model development for mountainous landslide investigation. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 871:1-12, doi:10.1088/1755-1315/871/1/012057.

Fata, Y.A., Hendrayanto, Erizal, Tarigan, S.D. and Wibowo, C. 2022. Vetiver root cohesion at different growth sites in Bogor, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 23(3):1683-1692, doi:10.13057/biodiv/d230360.

Fata, Y.A., Hendrayanto, Murtilaksono, K. and Erizal. 2021a. The role of hydromechanical vegetation in slope stability: A review. IOP Conference Series of Earth and Environmental Science 794:10, doi:10.1088/1755- 315/794/1/012041/meta.

Feng, S., Liu, H.W. and Ng, C.W.W. 2020. Analytical analysis of the mechanical and hydrological effects of vegetation on shallow slope stability. Computers and Geotechnics1-9, doi:10.1016/j.compgeo.2019.103335.

Frei, M. 2009. Validation of a new approach to determine vegetation effects on superficial soil movements [Ph.D Thesis]. Pfaffnau (LU): ETH Zurich.

Geo-Slope International Ltd. 2002. SLOPE/W for slope stability analysis. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 2Y5.

Geo-Slope International Ltd. 2021. Stability modeling with Geostudio. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 2Y5.

Gray, D.H. and Sotir, R.B. 1996. Biotechnical Soil Bioengineering Slope Stabilization: A Practical Guide for Erosion Control. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Hairiah, K., Widianto, Suprayogo, D. and van Noordwijk, M. 2020. Tree roots anchoring and binding soil: reducing landslide risk in Indonesian agroforestry. Land 9(256):1-19, doi:10.3390/land9080256.

Islam, M.A., Islam, M.S. and Elahi, T.E. 2020. Effectiveness of vetiver grass on stabilizing hill slopes: A numerical approach. Geo-Congress 2020: 106-115, doi:10.1061/9780784482797.011.

Khalilnejad, A. and Ali, F.Hj. and Osman N. 2012. Contribution of the root to slope stability. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering (2012) 30:277-288, doi:10.1007/s10706-011-9446-5.

Kim, Y., Rahardjo, H., Tieng, L.D.T. 2020. Stability analysis of laterally loaded trees based on tree-root-soil interaction. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 49:1-10, doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126639.

Kokutse, N.K., Temgoua, A.G.T. and Kavazovic, Z. 2016. Slope stability danvegetation: Conceptual and numerical investigation of mechanical effects. Ecological Engineering 86:146-153, doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng. 2015.11.005.

Leung, F.T.Y., Yang, W.M., Hau, B.C.H. and Tham, L.G. 2015. Root systems of native shrubs and trees in Hong Kong and their effects on enhancing slope stability. Catena 125:102-110, doi:10.1016/j.catena.2014.10.018.

Liong, G.T. and Herman, D.J.G. 2012. Analysis of slope stability limit equilibrium vs finite element method. PIT HATHI XVI. Jakarta (in Indonesian).

Masi, E.B., Segoni, S. and Tofani, V. 2021. Root reinforcement in slope stability models: a review. Geosciences 11(212):1-24, doi:10.3390/ geosciences11050212.

Mehtab, A., Jiang, Y.J., Su, L.J., Shamsher, S., Li, J.J. and Mahfuzur, R. 2021. Scaling the roots mechanical reinforcement in plantation of Cunninghamia R. Br in Southwest China. Forest 12(33):1-22, doi:10.3390/f12010033.

Meng, W., Bogaard, T. and Beek, R.V. 2014. How the stabilizing effect of vegetation on a slope change over time: A review. The International Programme on Landslides, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-04999-1_52.

Nguyen, T.S., Likitlersuang, S. and Jotisanka, A. 2018. Influence of the spatial variability of the root cohesion on a slope-scale stability model: A case study of residual soil slope in Thailand. Bulleting of Engineering Geology and the Environment 78:3337-3351, doi:10.1007/s10064-018-1380-9.

Ni, J.J., Leung, A.K., Ng, C.W.W. 2019. Influences of plant spacing on root tensile strength of Schefflera arboricola and soil shear strength. Landscape and Ecological Engineering 15:1-8, doi:10.1007/s11355-019-00374-x.

Rajesh, S.P., Prakash, S.S., Sanjay, P.K. and Hanumant, M.D. 2017. Soil stabilization by vetiver. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Innovative Research and Development 1(4):51-55.

Reubens, B., Poesen, J., Danjon, F., Geudens, G. and Muys, B. 2007. The role of fine and coarse roots in shallow slope stability and soil erosion control with a focus on root system architecture: a review. Trees 21:385-402, doi:10.1007/s00468-007-0132-4.

SNI 3420. 2016. Method of direct shear strength of unconsolidated and undrained soils (in Indonesian).

Styczen, M.E. and Morgan, R.P.C. 1995. Engineering properties of vegetation. In: Morgan, R.P.C. and Rickson, R.J/ (eds), Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control: A Bioengineering Approach. E&FN Spon, London.

Tadsuwan, K. 2017. The Study of The Effects of Vegetation on Slope Stabilization for Landslide Prevention in Thailand [Thesis]. Thammasat University. [Thailand].

Temgoua, A.G.T., Kokutse, N.K., Kavazovic, Z. and Richard, M. 2017. A 3D model was applied to analyze the mechanical stability of real-world forested hillslopes prone to landslides. Ecological Engineering 106:609-61. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.06.043.

Tosi, M. 2007. Root tensile strength relationships and their slope stability implications of three shrub species in the Northern Apennines (Italy). Geomorphology 87:268-283, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.09.019.

Voottipruex, P., Bergado, D.T., Mairaeng, W., Chucheepsakul, S. and Modmoltin. C. 2008. Soil reinforcement with combination roots system: a case study of vetiver grass and acacia mangium willd. Lowland Technology International 10: 56-67.

Waldron, L.J. 1977. The shear resistence of root-permeated homogeneous and stratified soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal 41: 843- 849, doi:10.2136/sssaj1977.03615995004100050005x.

Wang, X., Hong, M.M., Huang, Z., Zhao, Y.F., Ou, Y.S., JIa, H.X. and Li, J. 2019. Biomechanical properties of plant root systems and their ability to stabilize slopes in geohazard-prone region. Soil and Tillage Research 189:148-157, doi:10.1016/j.still.2019.02.003.

Wu, T.H., McKinnell III, W.P. and Swanston, D.N. 1979. Strength of tree roots and lanslides on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 16:19-33, doi:10.1139/t79-003.

Zhang, C.B., Chen, L.H. and Jiang. 2014. Why fine tree roots are stronger than thicker roots: The role of cellulose and lignin in relation to slope stability. Geomorphology 206:196-202, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.09.024.








How to Cite

Fata, Y. A., Hendrayanto, H., Erizal, E., Tarigan, S. D., & Katsumi, T. (2023). Modelling of mechanical roots on slope stability. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management, 10(4), 4779–4790.



Research Article