Methods to Improve The Stability of Slopes

September, 30 2019

If a slope is damaged, collapsed, or prone to failing, it’s essential to improve its stability as soon as you can. Not doing so can further jeopardize the quality of the slope and surrounding stratum. Luckily, enhancing and stabilizing a slope is easy to do, and can be done via several different methods. Here’s a simple outline of each of them if you’re wondering how to stabilize slopes.

How can you increase the stability of a slope?

  1. Lower the slope ratio to reduce the weight of the mass tending to slide/collapse.
  2. Construct an earthen berm in the vicinity of the toe of the slope to increase resistance against the forces of movement.
  3. Reconstruct the slope as an engineered fill slope.
  4. Lower the subsurface groundwater body.
  5. Redirect and improve surface drainage pathways.

Follow any or all of these methods to ensure that your slope is structurally sound. However, there’s more you need to bear in mind.

How does water affect slope stability?

Depending on the material and composition of the slope soil, water may be able to seep through porous areas and cause damage.  The sudden addition of significant levels of rainfall or snowfall can add weight to the material of the slope, causing it to become unstable and potentially crumble.  If you plan for a slope to endure human, vehicular or any other kind of mass, be sure to inspect it after every bout of harsh weather conditions thoroughly. Doing so could save you the trouble of spending more money and time on repairs. Not only this, but water can also alter the repose of the slope, meaning that it is angled differently.  Potentially, this could lead to more significant problems.

The angle of the slope also affects slope stability.

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that gravity has an impact on every slope. This impact can be narrowed down into two points: any objects sliding down the slope, and gravity with the slope itself.  In regards to objects sliding down the slope, you need to bear in mind that the steeper the slope, the more exponential momentum any object will gain on the way down.  This sliding leads to a harder impact upon reaching the bottom – potentially causing structural damage to the foundation of the slope.  If the slope is steep, the harsh gradient may cause higher particles of soil to put extra weight on lower particles giving way to the possible issue of structural damage at a base level.

If you aren’t sure what to do regarding a slope, why not contact us at G3SoilWorks. Our friendly team of knowledgeable and reliable Geotech consultants in Southern California is on hand to advise you on a large number of environmental topics to improve the productivity and profitability of your next project.


Follow, engage, learn. Stop by our blog to see what’s happening at G3SoilWorks.

G3SoilWorks – a full service geotechnical / engineering geologic consulting firm, is pleased to reach our third year. It has come with many interesting clients, assignments and obstacles.

350 Fischer Avenue Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Tel. 714-707-3155