Steep Slope Stabilization

By Rick Jackson // 25Jul2020


Slope stabilization techniques have been around for a long time. However, what many do not realize is that not all stabilization techniques are suitable for every situation. Most traditional methods, i.e., natural fiber stabilization blankets, are only suitable for shallower slope (3:1 and shallower)1 situations. With a  greater slope, the demands on the stabilization method increases as the water velocities will also increase. With the heightened erosion potential, many commonly used erosion control blankets will fail to hold the soil in place.

There are several options now available for steep slope stabilization consisting of Coir matting, TRMs, soil nailing, concrete, and Geoweb systems. These techniques are utilized on near-vertical faces. Concrete slope protection is the only one of these techniques that will not allow for vegetation to grow on the slope. It is all too often that the wrong stabilization methods can be seen on slopes that are too steep for their intentions and often lead to slope erosion.

1Defintions found 2013 AZPDES Construction General Permit, June 3, 2013 page 45-50