SOIL EROSION CONTROL AND VEGETATION STABILIZATION USING BIOGENIC BIOPOLYMERS

Ilhan Chang*, Gye-Chun Cho, J. Carlos Santamarina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The acceleration of global warming is not only inducing rising sea levels and abnormal climate problems, but also geotechnical hazards such as farmland and coastal erosion, yellow dust, and desertification. Recently, 30% of Earth's dry land has been affected by desertification, and approximately 850 million people are suffering due to famine, poverty, and hygiene problems induced by desertification. Moreover, UNEP warns that tens of millions of people could be driven from their homes by encroaching deserts, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and central Asia, in the next 10 years. Global warming and unsustainable land development are known to be major triggers promoting desertification. New forestry practices, such as encouraging forests in dry land areas, are simple measures that can remove more carbon from the atmosphere and prevent the spread of deserts. Numerous global agencies and companies are thus contributing to anti-desertification movements. However, tree planting alone is not an ideal solution given that it takes approximately 2 similar to 3 years for stabilization. It is thus imperative to develop innovative technology that can promote vegetation growth and improve soil erosion resistance. In this study, a unique soil treatment and anti-desertification method is developed using environmentally friendly biogenic biopolymers. Biopolymers can effectively strengthen soil and improve durability. In particular, anionic-hydrophilic biopolymers delay water evaporation, thereby retaining a higher soil moisture condition compared to non-treated soil. For technical verification, series of laboratory investigations (i.e. water erosion test, seed germination and growth,) were performed by applying target biopolymers to soil specimens. The results indicate that environmentally-friendly biopolymer treatment is highly effective in improving both vegetation growth (3 times faster) and soil erosion resistance (less than 2%), compared to a non-treated condition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPROCEEDINGS OF THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL YOUNG GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERS' CONFERENCE (IYGEC 2013)
EditorsYJ Cui, F Emeriault, F Cuira, S Ghabezloo, JM Pereira, M Reboul, H Ravel, AM Tang
PublisherIOS Press
Pages77-80
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-296-7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Young Geotechnical Engineers' Conference (iYGEC) - Marne la Vallee, France
Duration: Aug 31 2013Sep 1 2013

Publication series

NameAdvances in Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
PublisherIOS PRESS
Volume2

Conference

Conference5th International Young Geotechnical Engineers' Conference (iYGEC)
CountryFrance
CityMarne la Vallee
Period08/31/1309/1/13

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