NH3.13 | Nature-based and bio-based solutions for geohazard mitigation on slopes and streambanks


Nature-based and bio-based solutions for geohazard mitigation on slopes and streambanks
Convener: Alessandro Fraccica | Co-conveners: Vittoria Capobianco, André Evette, Paola Sangalli, Stephan Hörbinger

Climate-induced or anthropogenically triggered soil-related geohazards may cause damage to buildings, infrastructure and the environment. Climate-induced geohazards, such as landslides, floods or droughts, are known to exacerbate with climate change due to the increased frequency and intensity of rainfall and extreme weather events.

Solutions that mimic natural or biological processes are increasingly being adopted to mitigate the triggering or propagation of such geohazards through improvement of the soil behaviour and its characteristics.

The use of vegetation on potentially unstable slopes and streambanks is an example of a Nature-Based Solution (NBS).
Microbiological activity can also modify soil behaviour. For example, microbially-induced calcite precipitation and biological exudates (such as vegetation mucilage or biopolymers) can change both soil strength and permeability. Furthermore, fungal activity can improve erosion resistance and alter the rheology of the soil.

These NBS must combine ecological approaches with engineering design in order to provide practical solutions, while also maintaining/enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services.

This session aims to stimulate interdisciplinary knowledge exchange of NBS and bio-based solutions for geohazard mitigation, with a particular focus on the topics of landslides and erosion.

Contributions could originate from the fields of geotechnical engineering, ecological engineering, biodiversity, forestry, hydrogeology and agronomy, among others. Experiences of interactions between research and industry, with involvement of NBS entrepreneurs, are particularly welcome.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Experimental (either laboratory or field) or numerical investigation of hydrological and/or mechanical reinforcement due to vegetation or bio-based solutions for slopes or streambanks;
• Theoretical or empirical data-driven design methods used in geotechnical engineering for vegetated and bio-improved soils;
• Tools, practical approaches and frameworks demonstrating how NBS can be used to mitigate geohazards while providing additional co-benefits;
• Upscaling potential of laboratory data to slope and catchment scales;
• Case studies of restoration, stabilization works, or Eco-DRR, especially involving design principles and performance assessment;
• Guidelines, reviews, and data repositories on NBS for risk reduction, with focus on NBS for infrastructure protection.