Temporal Efficiencies Of Soil Bioengineering Techniques To Mitigate Geo-Hydrological Risks


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Natural hazards such as landslides, soil erosion and floods are increasingly affecting many regions of the world in relation to ongoing climate change and the abandonment of rural areas. In the last decades, the need to mitigate such phenomena and preserve natural resources, including landscapes, has motivated a number of local and national authorities to promote the use of soil bioengineering techniques. Consequently, these techniques have been increasingly used with variable success rates. This study analysed the efficiencies of different bioengineering structures to mitigate geo-hydrological risks by examining the interventions installed between 2007 and 2013 in the Avellino Province southern Italy. To this end, a specific project consistency analysis and functionality classification were carried out and the causes of inefficiencies were identified. The analysis showed that after a few years, only a small number of the installed bioengineering structures were fully functional and efficient. Overall, the installed structures were generally affected by maintenance issues and in many cases they suffered from design and execution issues, inducing a generally lower degree of efficiency, with most of them classified as 'not very efficient'. The conclusions of this work are that i) the long-term efficiency of a bioengineering structure is related to its correct design, installation, and maintenance; ii) the design of a bioengineering structure should account for the geological, geotechnical and hydrological characteristics of the area of interest, and iii) maintenance must not affect the short-term efficiency of a structure, but may affect the long-term efficiency.
Bioengineering techniques, Land degradation, Landslide, Flood, Soil erosion, Geo-hydrological risks
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